menu icon

Common Questions

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

Last reviewed in March 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors.

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 People's Law School, provides an overview of what defamation means, how libel is different from slander, and legal options including possible defences.

Need more help?

  • You may want to seek advice from a lawyer. Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge.

See our related common questions:

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