Receiving a solicitor’s letter that threatens to To take legal action in a civil case. you for To damage another person’s reputation by publishing or communicating false statements about them. The old common law distinction between libel (written and published defamation) and slander (spoken defamation) no longer has any legal significance. is extremely intimidating. Such threats are sometimes made to people and organisations that have commented on matters of political or public interest. Many of the defences discussed in this chapter apply to such comments.
It is important that you respond quickly after receiving such a letter. The ‘offers to make amends’ procedure under section 40 of the Defamation A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. contains significant cost penalties for defendants who unreasonably fail to make a settlement The first step in agreeing to make a legally binding agreement. An offer must be accepted before there can be a legally enforceable contract. For example, a person can offer to sell their car for $5000 and a buyer can accept the offer and pay that purchase price..
A A person who has been charged with a criminal offence or against whom a civil action has been brought. who has made an early offer in accordance with the Statutory rules made by parliament or by bodies the parliament delegates power to, for example a local council or a registration authority. See delegated legislation; statute. may rely on the offer as a (1) A defendant’s response to the legal claims made against them in court by a prosecutor or plaintiff. (2) A lawful excuse for conduct: for example, causing minor injuries to someone while saving them from certain death. (3) ‘The defence’ is also a way of referring to the defendant and their legal team. to any action brought against them (s 18(1) Defamation Act).
Free legal advice can be obtained from a community legal centre; see Chapter 2.4: Legal services that can help.