Trading corporations can begin defamation proceedings if they are the victim of a statement which is causing damage to trading reputation and/or business, not just individuals. Other non-trading organisations suing for defamation can sue on the grounds of financial interests or damage to property.
Requirements of suing for defamation
Groups need a legal identity when suing for defamation, or they are unable to complain of libel. It is for this reason that suing for defamation, more specifically libel, is difficult for unincorporated clubs unless done as individuals if they are specifically referred to. It is the same for victims of racism in that they cannot get redress for defamation if they cannot prove that they were being directly targeted.
Suing for defamation is not possible for government bodies, as ruled by the House of Lords in 1993. This includes all areas of local and central government, the Crown, political parties and departments with corporate status. If it can be proven that an individual is being directly targeted, then they are able to begin suing for defamation as long as this is done individually.
Aspects to consider when suing for defamation
If a claimant dies during the process of suing for defamation, before a verdict is reached, the claim does not continue for the benefit of their estate, but comes to an end.
Lawyers may agree to act on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis, although generally there no is funding publically available to organisations who bring of defend defamation proceedings.
A time limit of one year must not be exceeded from the date of publication to when the claim for libel or slander is made. Exceptions can be made if there is a reason considered justifiable by the court, where they will take into account both the reasons for the delay and the length of delay, as well as the availability and quality of evidence considering the time delay.
If you are a company needing help with suing for defamation, call Pinder Reaux’s team of expert internet defamation lawyers on 020 8252 7373