Home Law What is Criminal Defamation and How Does it Apply?

What is Criminal Defamation and How Does it Apply?

What is Criminal Defamation and How Does it Apply?

Criminal defamation is the carrying out of communicating something negative or damaging about a second party, and suggesting that it is of a factual nature when in reality it is the opposite. This communication can be either verbal or written, and can apply to any form of the media. The second party may happen to be an individual, a group of people, a business, or an organisation. In fact anybody at all.

These kinds of hateful communications may also be known as vilification, slander, or libel. Slander is any criminal defamation communicated by verbal means. Libel is the term given to any written or pictorial forms of the same offence. Trade libel refers particularly to false statements made about certain business products, often agricultural in nature. These erroneous statements may be relevant to an individual or group’s character, business conduct, ethics, financial standing, and more. If you are seeking criminal law advice in Yorkshire, contact reliable, trustworthy and experienced professionals and you will have no regrets.


The accusations which have been made must be implied or stated to be factual and proven to be false to be counted as criminal defamation. In some cases, the intent of the party who is making the statement must also be shown to be malicious. Many countries around the world, have the same kind of laws against committing this crime that allows the one who has been defamed, also known as the claimant, to seek repercussions against the injuring party or parties.

Statements made that are acknowledged to be what are deemed opinion or fair criticism may not be prosecuted as defamation. Information also, that is not deemed believable by the public, is not considered slanderous or libellous either. For example, should a newspaper that claims a leading politician is in reality an alien from Mars or Pluto, it would not be guilty of criminal defamation, even though the statement could be considered negative. (And hilariously funny!)

Reputation and Honour

There are some countries, in which an individual’s feelings are protected as well as his or her reputation. Claimants can sue someone for injury to their emotional well-being as a result of false statements having been made. These claims are known as an attack on someone’s honour.

There are also laws that exist which can protect individuals or groups of people from the release of factual information that is at the same time equally deleterious to their reputations. Information that is made available to the public, but at the same time is actually true, but negative, is known within the law as public disclosure of private facts. These factual statements must be proven to be deemed harmful to the second party to whom they pertain, and must also be viewed as irrelevant to the public.

Should you be in need of legal help and advice, it’s in your best interests to seek out the experts.