DEFAMATION ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Broadcast statements

   4   Slander affecting official, professional or business reputation

   5   Slander of title, etc

   6   Unintentional defamation

   7   Justification

   8   Fair comment

   9   Qualified privilege of newspapers

   10   Extent of section 15 of the Libel and Slander Act

   11   Extension of certain defences to broadcasting

   12   Limitation on privilege at elections

   13   Agreements for indemnity

   14   Evidence of other damages recovered by plaintiff

   15   Proceedings affected and saving

      SCHEDULE

 

THE DEFAMATION ACT

[Date of Commencement: 30th April, 1967]

Law 33 of 1961.

Act 47 of 1963.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Defamation Act.

2   Interpretation

   (1) Any reference in this Act to words shall be construed as including a reference to pictures, visual images, gestures and other methods of signifying meaning.

   (2) In this Act-

   "broadcasting by means of wireless telegraphy" means publication for general reception by means of wireless telegraphy, and "broadcast by means of wireless telegraphy" shall be construed accordingly;

   "telegraph" means a wire used for the purpose of telegraphic communication, with any casing, coating, tube or pipe enclosing the same, and any apparatus connected therewith for the purpose of telegraphic communication;

   "wireless telegraphy" means the emitting or receiving, over paths which are not provided by any material substance constructed or arranged for that purpose, of electro-magnetic energy of a frequency not exceeding three million megacycles a second, being energy which either-

   (a)   serves for the conveying of messages, sound or visual images (whether the messages, sound or images are actually received by any person or not) or for the actuation or control of machinery or apparatus; or

   (b)   is used in connection with the determination of position, bearing or distance, or for the gaining of information as to the presence, absence, position or motion of any objects of any class.

   (3) The reference in the definition of "wireless telegraphy" in subsection (2) to the emission of electro-magnetic energy shall be construed as including a reference to the deliberate reflection of electro-magnetic energy by means of any apparatus designed or specially adapted for that purpose, whether the reflection is continuous or intermittent.

   (4) The reference in subsection (2) to the conveying of messages includes a reference to the making of any signal or the sending or conveying of any warning or information and the reference in that subsection to the reception of messages shall be construed accordingly.

   (5) Where words broadcast by means of wireless telegraphy are simultaneously transmitted by telegraph under lawful authority, the provisions of this Act shall apply as if the transmission were broadcasting by means of wireless telegraphy.

   (6) Where words are transmitted by broadcast over-

   (a)   a closed circuit television system; or

   (b)   are-diffusion system,

the provisions of this Act shall apply as if the transmission were broadcasting by means of wireless telegraphy.

   In this subsection the expressions "closed circuit television system" and "re-diffusion system" have the same meaning respectively as they have in the Broadcasting and Radio Re-Diffusion Act.

[47/1963 s 2.]

3   Broadcast statements

   For the purposes of the law of libel and slander, the broadcasting of words by means of wireless telegraphy shall be treated as publication in permanent form.

4   Slander affecting official, professional or business reputation

   In an action for slander in respect of words calculated to disparage the plaintiff in any office, profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of the publication, it shall not be necessary to allege or prove special damage, whether or not the words are spoken of the plaintiff in the way of his office, profession, calling, trade or business.

5   Slander of title, etc

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