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News & Knowledge

Libel, slander, defamation, injurious falsehood: What’s the difference?

23rd May 2016
Johnston Withers - Adelaide

Many words are bandied about to describe a statement made about a person that hurts that person’s reputation or makes them lose money. This short guide by MSI's Adelaide law firm member Johnston Withers explains what these terms mean under Australian law.

There are two main categories of legal action you might take against someone who makes a hurtful statement about you. The first is defamation, the second is injurious falsehood. Two additional terms, libel and slander, are often used.

Defamation and injurious falsehood compared

‘Defamation’ is the term generally used in modern Australia by lawyers to describe the legal action you can bring against someone who made a statement that identifies you and hurts your reputation.

A term uncommon to hear from non-lawyers, but increasingly used by lawyers, is ‘injurious falsehood’. It’s a type of legal action very similar to defamation, but separate from it.

Libel and slander

Often people accuse others of making ‘libellous’ or ‘slanderous’ statements, rather than ‘defamatory’ statements.

Download the full article on libel, slander, defamation, injurious falsehood: What’s the difference?

About Johnston Withers - Adelaide

Johnston Withers is a mid-sized South Australian law firm with a social conscience. We have been serving our Adelaide and regional SA clients for nearly 70 years.

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