What are the essentials of Defamation?

There are in general four essentials of the tort of defamation. These include:

  • There must be a defamatory statement.
  • The defamatory statement must be understood by right-thinking or reasonable minded persons as referring to the plaintiff.
  • There must be a publication of the defamatory statement, that is to say, it must be communicated to some person other than the plaintiff himself.
  • In case of slander, either there must be proof of special damages or the slander must come within the serious classes of cases in which it is actionable per se. 

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