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Gatley on Libel and Slander

Gatley on Libel and Slander
13th Edition
Series:  Common Law Library
Practice Area:  Defamation
ISBN:  9780414099708
Published by:  Sweet & Maxwell
Publication Date:  20 May 2022
Subscription Information:  Non-Subscribable Product
Format:  Hardback
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Now in its thirteenth edition and part of the prestigious Common Law Library, Gatley on Libel and Slander has established itself as the definitive work on defamation law and practice. 

The work has been comprehensively updated and restructured throughout to provide a thorough examination of the English law of defamation and other media and communications claims, including malicious falsehood, privacy, data protection and harassment – both substantive and procedural.
  • New chapters on serious harm and the defences of truth, honest opinion and publication on a matter of public interest
  • Fully revised chapter on pre-trial applications including preliminary trials of meaning
  • Dedicated chapters on misuse of private information and data protection
  • Review of all key case law including Lachaux, Stocker, Serafin, Lloyd v Google, Economou, Wright v Ver, Wright v Granath, Corbyn v Millett, Duchess of Sussex v Associated, and Soriano v Forensic News
  • Consideration of legal developments in Commonwealth and common law jurisdictions
In addition to providing detailed commentary and expert analysis of the substantive law, it offers comprehensive guidance on the procedural aspects of bringing an action. This advice is complemented with example forms and precedents for issuing proceedings and summaries of key damages awards, making it both a practical and authoritative reference.

  • The authority on the law of defamation with expert analysis of the law and all significant developments in libel and slander, malicious falsehood and privacy.
  • Detailed coverage of the relevant procedure for practising defamation law – serving as a one-stop reference at every stage of an action.
  • Examines the defamatory statement including slanders actionable, publication, identifying the person defamed and addresses the question: who may sue or be sued?
  • Looks at the various available remedies including compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages.
  • Commentary on related causes of action such as malicious falsehood, misuse of private information and other causes arising from statements. 
  • Explores available defences with discussion of honest comment, absolute and qualified privilege, publication in public interest and more.
  • Comprehensive examination of the procedure for bringing an action from interim injunctions and particulars of claim to counterclaims, apologies, the trial and appeals.
  • Relevant cases from other jurisdictions with commentary on their relevance to UK law and procedure, including decisions from Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Discusses the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the continuing effect of the Human Rights Act on defamation law.
  • Provides forms and precedents for issuing proceedings, statements of case and settlement and reproduces relevant excerpts of key statutes.
  • Includes an appendix with statutes, procedural rules and damages awards.

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Part One: The Defamatory Statement
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Defamatory Imputations
  • 3. The Form and Meaning of the Defamatory Statement
  • 4. Slanders Actionable Per Se
  • 5. Slander Actionable Only on Proof of Special Damage
  • 6. Publication
  • 7. Identity of the Person Defamed
  • 8. Parties: Who May Sue or Be Sued
  • 9. Remedies
Part Two: Defences
  • 10. Defences: General
  • 11. Truth (Justification)
  • 12. Honest Comment
  • 13. Absolute Privilege
  • 14. Qualified Privilege at Common Law
  • 15. Publication on a Matter of Public Interest
  • 16. Qualified Privilege Statute
  • 17. Malice and Qualified Privilege
  • 18. Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • 19. Other Defences
Part Three: Other Causes of Action and Related Matters
  • 20. Scope of this Part
  • 21. Malicious Falsehood
  • 22. Misuse of Private Information
  • 23. Other Causes of Action Arising from Statements
Part Four: The Action
  • 24. The Initial Stages
  • 25. Interim Injunctions
  • 26. Particulars of Claim
  • 27. Defence
  • 28. Reply and Defence to Counterclaim
  • 29. Apology, Offer of Amends and Compromise
  • 30. Pre-trial Applications
  • 31. Interlocutory Matters
  • 32. The Trial: The Claimant’s Case
  • 33. The Trial: The Defendant’s Case
  • 34. The Trial: Functions of Judge and Jury
  • 35. The Trial: The Final Stages
  • 36. Appeal


HHJ Richard Parkes QC sits as a judge on the circuit bench and is assigned to the South Eastern Circuit.
Professor Alastair Mullis is the Head of the School of Law at University of Leeds with a research focus on defamation and related wrongs, media law and aspects of international commercial law.
Godwin Busuttil is a junior barrister at 5RB specialising in all areas of media and communications law.
Tom Blackburn SC is one of the leading defamation and media law silks in Australia and currently practices at 5RB.
Professor David Rolph is a Professor at the University of Sydney Law School and specialises in media law.
Dr Andrew Scott is an Associate Professor of Law at London School of Economics and focuses on defamation and privacy.


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