Common Questions

Someone is threatening to sue me for defamation. How would I defend myself?

Defamation is communication about a person that tends to hurt the person's reputation. The communication must be made to other people, not just to the person it's about. It can be spoken, which is called slander, or it can be written, which is called libel. If someone sues for defamation, the most common defences are: truth (known in law as "justification"), absolute privilege, qualified privilege, fair comment, or responsible communication on matters of public interest.

Good starting points include:

  • Defamation: Libel & Slander, from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, provides an overview of what defamation means, how libel is different from slander, and legal options including possible defences.

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Last reviewed November 2016

defamation, libel, slander, spreading false rumours, wrongful accusations