Libel and slander are forms of defamation in English law.
Libel is the publication of a defamatory statement in permanent form (for example, in an email, tweet, text, online review, Facebook posting or news article).
Slander is concerned with the spoken word, conduct or other non-permanent expression.
A statement will be defamatory in English law if it is:-
(a) published to a person other than the victim,
(b) identifies the victim and
(c) lowers the reputation of the victim in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.
Solicitors who deal with personal injury
note that Libel is actionable ‘on the face of it’ which means that so long as you can prove you have been defamed, you will automatically be able to claim at least nominal damages for injury to your feelings and distress caused by the libellous statement. However, due to changes brought about by the Defamation Act 2013
, in order to establish a cause of action for defamation, you (as the victim) have to be able to prove on balance of probabilities that the publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to your reputation.