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Defamation law - Who can you sue


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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14 August 2009

When it comes to taking action against those who have committed a defamation, everyone who has participated in or is responsible for the publication can be sued.

An example of this is if a freelance journalist wrote an article which is published in a newspaper and then found to be defamatory the following people may potentially be sued:

1. The freelance journalist

2. The editor

3. The publisher

4. The printer

5. The retailers who sell the newspaper

In practice however one action would be brought against the publisher, the editor and the journalist. Whilst it is unusual for an action to be brought against the printers or distributors it can happen (see John Major v Scallywag Magazine)

It is also important to remember that every time the defamatory statement is repeated, it gives rise to a fresh cause of action and each person that repeats it will be liable as though they were the original authors.

Jane Coyle is a trainee solicitor at Lawdit and can be contacted at

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-09-30 12:37:51 in Legal Articles

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