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WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE STATE OF THE LAW
AS DEFINED BY
The Law of Libel Amendment Act, 1888,
AND ALL PRECEDING ACTS UPON THE SUBJECT
The full Text of all the Libel Acts and a Report of every Important
Case to Date.
This book does not presume to be a complete and exhaustive exposition of the law of libel as it is illustrated and exemplified in the authoritative decisions of the Courts upon the several branches of that very complex subject. It aims simply at being a handy, practical, timely treatise on the law as affected and defined by the Acts of 1881 and 1888. While necessarily giving a general idea of the offence of libel, I endeavour, by reference to cases where the law has been found sufficient or defective, to show how far those intended measures of reform have gone in protecting or failing to protect the legitimate exercise of the rights of the Press, and how much yet remains to be done in the desirable direction of amendmentdesirable as much in the interests of the public as of the Press itself. I have, therefore, after a brief but requisite notice of the general offences of libel and slander, as contradistinguished, proceeded to deal with the various phases of the subject as they most naturally suggest themselves — phases into which almost all modern decisions insensibly divide themselves. the work deals exclusively with libel, and mainly with that form of it which finds its way into the public papers, almost every defamatory act can be classified under some one of the several heads of the several chapters of this book as being either excesses of the privilege of legitimate public comment or as breaches