Imatges de pàgina



Lord Brougham's opinion of the futility of any attempt to

define a libel—his description of a libel, public and private
-the several ways of proceeding against a libeller—the
theory of a public prosecution--tendency to force a civil
action—when it can be sought-Lord Justice Black-
burn's definition of a libel in the case of the London and
Counties Bank v. HentyMr. Baron Parke's definition in
Parmiter v. Couplandthe words must be falsely and
maliciously published—terms of an indictment-averment
in a pleading—malice the gist of the offence—Mr. Justice
Bayley's definition of malice in Bromage v. Prosser—when
defamatory matter is privileged-newspaper report-a few
typical cases—libelling a corporation, religious community,
or a dead person-existence of a rumour no justification
-Chief Justice Cockburn's definition of the remedies open
to a libelled person—Starkie's definition of a criminal libel
-order of judge for criminal proceedings—selecting pub-
lisher or proprietor as registered—cannot compel disclosure
of anonymous writer — sections of Lord Campbell's Act
enabling truth to be pleaded—also pleading public benefit
-act done by another person without consent or authority
-criminal information when granted-interpretation of
meaning of words—as to the effect of words—cases of re-
peating a libel- charging clergyman or other person with
misconduct defamatory words spoken or written in
connection with a person's trade or occupation always
libellous-costs in cases where damages under 40s.-case
of Savile v. Jardine-libelling the dead-R. v. Ensor-
not actionable unless causing injury or annoyance to the
living-Coke's opinion-R. v. Topham-Lord Kenyon's
judgment-Mr. Justice Stephen in R. v. Ensor—the dead
have no rights



Slander as distinguished from libel-general distinguishing

marks : nature of words spoken; causing a person to be
shunned or exposing him to contempt, ridicule or preju-
dice, or affecting his character or credit-cases on these
points—damages in oral defamation — a repeater of the
slander-Archbold's account of verbal slander where action
lies—distiuction between slander and libel—four cases of
slander—mere abuse not actionable if free of these excep-
tions—cases on privilege—the dividing line running far back
-old cases—Mr. Justice Best on injury to a man's reputa-
tion-another distinction between libel and slander-latter
only actionable by civil action, not by prosecution, unless
words are seditious, blasphemous, or spoken of a magis-
trate—other kinds of libel but mere writing—the descrip-
tion of defamation in Indian Code-carriers of a story
liable as originator—Lord Coleridge's opinion of society
scandal and slander—actions for libel for certain words not
actionable as slander if not written-cases of specific slander
—a further distinction as to damage implied—what must
be proved-cases of slander in connection with a man's
trade, profession, etc., or imputing to him a contagious
disease-case of a man robbing his wife not an indictable
offence—Married Woman's Property Act affecting the
charge—Mr. Justice Maule's opinion as to man and wife
being one where the honour and feelings of either are injured
-publication to a wife not held to be sufficient—an
American case on the point-mere slanderous allegations
not actionable unless in themselves so and supported by
special damage unless imputing a crime-words must have
some connection with the damage-non-fulfilment of a
contract gave a right to special damage-where a woman
living apart brings an action for words affecting her rela-

The legal meaning of libellous words—no fanciful, strained, or

unnatural meaning to be imputed—where initial letters or
asterisks are used-no defence if person is known to be
meant- words defamatory in secondary sense evidence
thereof—not meaning of libeller, but effect of his words, to
be considered-express malice only inquired into when
occasion is justified — intermediate utterer if privileged,
original -libeller guilty-words of mere suspicion not action-
able nor of a crime, unless one carrying with it a punish-
ment — though not describing it in technical words are
actionablemere breach of trust or of contract not action-
able-cases in point—where mere abuse or a felony is
imputed causes the criminalty in slander-meaning is for

jury-cases—principle of interpretation as laid down in

Irish Court of Appeal in Clanricarde v. Joycethe slander

and damage must consist in apprehension of hearers or

readers—where words point to no particular person proof

of applicability to plaintiff must be given—cases—where a

class is referred to jury must determine how far individual

is affected or meant—words must bear conclusively the

meaning imputed to them in pleading—and for jury to

say how far—cases—where words can have a harmless

meaning their harmful sense must be shown—all strained

meanings rejected and words not manifestly libellous-

where double or equivocal meaning, application to plaintiff

must be shown-cases-jury sole judges of meaning-

where words are obscure they are not actionable—jury

must consider the whole matter and not disjointed or dis-

connected parts—Mr. Baron Patterson held that the words

must be in their nature defamatory-Addison on the

meaning of the words—his definition of the canons of

interpretation previous knowledge often necessary to

explain expression—and any such new meaning must be

shown clearly where words have acquired a peculiar

meaning that must be explained—whule article must be

read and whole conversation told — Chief Justice Buller

asked Jury what as reasonable men of sense did libel

mean-Lord Ellenborough said words must not be construed

in a better sense to that which the whole world understands

by them—jury decide on which of two meanings is meant

-after verdict words taken to have been used in worst

sense; a bonâ fide opinion is not actionable nor a confidential

communication-O'Donnell v. Times —viewing previous

parts of a paper or other papers to establish meaning,

difference of Irish Court on the admissibility of such

evidence in case of Bolton v. O'Brien-calling a man an

“invincible magistrate” held libellous and paper cast in

damages—where words are held by jury to incite to or

encourage murder the writer is guilty of a misdemeanour

and may be sentenced to imprisonment–case of R. v.

Most—demurrer motion in Irish Court raising issue before

trial as to libellous meaning of the words


Legal meaning of malice-adapted from colloquial use—diction-

ary meaning-Johnson's definition-Webster's—Littré's-

proof of malice-previous or subsequent publications of

same libel-Mr. Baron Pollock's decision in Darby v. Ousely

-necessity to prove malice when occasion is privileged

-inference of malice rebuttable by proof of circumstances

showing privilege-Lord Campbell's definition of the rule

as to proof of malice when occasion is privileged — if no

evidence of malice the judge ought not to leave any

question to jury-Lord Campbell held in Ferguson v. Earl

of Kinnoull that malice meant not mere personal spite, but

a conscious violation of the law-malice provable in slander

of title-limitation of libel and slander actions—where

special damage is alleged it must be proved-previous

character necessary to be proved—decision in Wood v.

Durham on point of previous reputation-evidence only

given in reduction of damagesought not to be pleaded as

not being a ground of defence, but as a denial or defence as

to damages claimed-Order XIX. r. 4 and Order XXII. r. 5

commented upon—case of Scott v. Sampson, where previous

conduct of plaintiff was admitted—case where reports were

put in proof, and facts amounting to suspicion but not

actual proof-Lord Ellenborough's decision as to rumours

being proved in mitigation of damages — restraint by

injunction - Court of Chancery always will exercise its

power to restrain the publication of a libel—where rival

publisher advertises a. work as if it were the real one he

can be restrained-or prevent a disparaging advertisement

and a libel injurious to trade-but not one injurious to

property-restrained libellous circular if statements are

untrue—a libellous statement of claim can be restrained

comment upon a case at hearing dangerous - Mr.

Justice Kay's decision on point--form of injunction-
where found-restraining slanderous statements calculated
to injure-restraining publication of letters, property of
letters held to be with those to whom they are sent-

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