What is serious harm? Defamation Act 2013

By Tim Sales and David Owen

The High Court has handed down its first judgment addressing the question of what amounts to ‘serious harm’ in the context of the Defamation Act 2013.

The court has confirmed that the ‘serious harm’ hurdle that must now be overcome is high.

Since 1 January 2014, a statement will not be defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. Where a claimant is a body that trades for profit, harm is not serious unless it has caused or is likely to cause serious financial loss…

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