Defamation

Defamation covers libel and slander. Libel is defamation in permanent form (written,radio, tv) or defamation which concerns the applicant's profession or occupation. Slanderis defamation in transient form (spoken).
Defences include that the comments made were true - or fair comment. Legal aid is notavailable for defamation cases. There is nothing to stop a LIP pursuing it.  BUT

Damages have to be proved. That is to say if Bloggins writes something untrue (anddamaging to the reputation of) Muggins, shows it to Muggins alone and Muggins circulatesit to other people, the defamation will have occurred at the instance of Muggins ratherthan Bloggins. No case.  If, however, Bloggins wrote it and showed it to Snooks,Muggins would have a case against Bloggins for the damage caused to Muggins - the value ofwhich would be the value of the devaluation of Muggins' reputation in the mind of Snooks.The fact that Bloggins is merely repeating what she heard from Jablonski is irrelevant.

It is rarely a good idea for a person to pursue a case of defamation. The emotional andfinancial strain involved in proving each strand and deflecting all the defences make itan action that is generally reserved for very rich people (e.g. Oscar Wilde - lost;  Telly Savalas - awarded one penny (?) but bore his own costs;  Neil Hamilton -lost;  Lord Archer - won but the courts later determined he had lied and he wasimprisoned for perjury;  Robert Maxwell - threatened it;  and Jonathan Aitken -who lost). It would be incredibly unwise in family proceedings because the falsehood isbeing published within a tiny circle of involved people who may have a legitimate interestin hearing the allegations, meaning the Ex, her legal team, a CAFCASS person and thejudge. The damage to the reputation of the father will be financially minimal (which isall that counts here). I am unaware of any successful defamation case arising out offamily proceedings (which does not mean there hasnever been one).

Be aware of the Defamation Act1996 under which a procedure now exists for resolution of defamation claims including theaward of damages by a judge under the summary disposal procedure.

Instead of defamation, might anaction for false imprisonment and / or malicious prosecution be relevant?

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