LIBEL AND SLANDER ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   1   Short title

 

PART I
Defamatory words and Libel

   2   Apology admissible in evidence in mitigation of damages

   3   In action for libel in a newspaper what defendant may plead

   4   Libels to extort money

   5   Publishing libel, knowing it to be false

   6   Malicious defamatory libels

   7   Proceedings upon trial of indictment for defamatory libel

   8   Prima facie case of publication by agent may be disproved

   9   Costs

   10   How costs to be recovered

 

PART II
Newspaper Libel

   11   "Newspaper" defined

   12   No criminal proceeding for libel without fiat of Director of Public Prosecutions

   13   Hearing before Resident Magistrate

   14   Duty of Resident Magistrate where libel of trivial character

   15   Report of judicial proceedings

   16   Consolidation of actions

   17   In-giving under Licences on Trades and Business Act prima facie evidence

 

PART III
Slander of Women

   18   Special damage

      Costs

 

THE LIBEL AND SLANDER ACT

[Date of Commencement: 1851]

Cap 219.

Law 33 of 1961.

Act 42 of 1969.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Libel and Slander Act.

PART I
Defamatory Words and Libel

2   Apology admissible in evidence in mitigation of damages

   In any action for defamation, it shall be lawful for the defendant (after notice, in writing, of his intention so to do, duly given, to the plaintiff at the time of filing or delivering the plea in such action), to give in evidence in mitigation of damages, that he made, or offered, an apology to the plaintiff for such defamation before the commencement of the action or as soon afterwards as he had an opportunity of doing so, in case the action shall have been commenced before there was an opportunity of making or offering such apology.

3   In action for libel in a newspaper what defendant may plead

   In an action for a libel contained in any public newspaper, or other periodical publication, it shall be competent to the defendant to plead that such libel was inserted in such newspaper or other periodical publication without actual malice, and without gross negligence; and that before the commencement of the action, or at the earliest opportunity afterwards, he inserted in such newspaper or other periodical publication, a full apology for the said libel; or, if the newspaper or periodical publication in which the said libel appeared should be ordinarily published at intervals exceeding one week, had offered to publish the said apology in any newspaper, or periodical publication, to be selected by the plaintiff in such action; and every such defendant shall, upon filing such plea, be at liberty to pay into Court a sum of money, by way of amends, for the injury sustained by the publication of such libel; and such payment into Court shall be of the same effect, and be available in the same manner, and to the same extent, and be subject to the same rules and regulations as to payment of costs, as payments of money into Court in personal actions, under the rules and practice of the Supreme Court; and that to such plea to such action, it shall be competent to the plaintiff to reply generally, denying the whole of such plea:

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   Provided always, that it shall not be competent to any defendant in such action to file any such plea, without at the same time making a payment of money into Court by way of amends; but every such plea so filed without payment of money into Court shall be deemed a nullity, and may be treated as such by the plaintiff in the action.

4   Libels to extort money

   If any person shall publish, or threaten to publish any libel upon any other person, or shall directly or indirectly threaten to print or publish, or shall directly or indirectly propose to abstain from printing or publishing, or shall directly or indirectly offer to prevent the printing or publishing, of any matter or thing touching any other person, with intent to extort any money, or security for money, or any valuable thing from such or any other person, or with intent to induce any person to confer, or procure for any person, any appointment, or office of profit or trust; every such offender, on being convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding three years:

   Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall in any manner alter or affect any law now in force in respect of the sending or delivery of threatening letters or writings.

5   Publishing libel, knowing it to be false

   If any person shall maliciously publish any defamatory libel, knowing the same to be false, every such person, being convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, and to pay such fine as the Court shall impose.

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