Monday, November 8, 2010
the defence of "fair comment". as part of the defence, s.9 of the defamation act provides for this defence, i.e, when confront with an allegation of defamation, the defendant may explain that what he's saying is just a comment and made upon an honest belief without malice, spite or ill will. That is, the impartiality of emotion, reason and belief are essential. according to s. 9, for a comment to be fair, (1) it must be based on facts truly stated (2) it must not contain imputations of corrupt or dishonourable motives, and (3) it must be the honest expression of the defendant's legal opinion. In Merivale v Carson, a fair and bona fide comment on a matter of public interest is not libel. In London Artists Ltd v Littler, it was opined that " in order to be fair, the commentator must get his basic facts right". i.e, the facts cannot be untrue, it must be true facts and based upon that true facts, the defendant made such comments and that comments cannot amount to be libel as it is based on true facts. In simple words, the defendant has only to say that all what he has done is made a comment based on a true facts of public interests and that it is bona fide without malice( bad intention).