THE LAW OF DEFAMATION2018-12-13T15:06:48+00:00


The Law of Defamation, now in its second edition, is published by Round Hall, Dublin, Ireland –

Defamation has always been a major concern for publishers and the traditional media, and those defamed by them, but now its effects are being felt on a much wider scale. The growth of social media and use of the Internet has changed the way we communicate, but also created new difficulties. Anyone who posts information or a comment online now has the capacity to create a defamatory statement which will be available instantly and can be read anywhere around the world.

The new edition of The Law of Defamation is a comprehensive narrative text on the law of defamation, including full coverage of the Defamation Act 2009, which came into force in 2010 and introduced a number of substantive and procedural reforms. It provides a clear explanation of the innovations in the Act and of the new and amended remedies and defences it offers. It also looks at how the Act has been interpreted in the courts and considers emerging law on key issues such as the assessment of damages in libel, modern media practice, and the key judgements concerning liability for publication on the Internet.

Key features include:

Consideration of how the Defamation Act is being interpreted by the courts in Ireland.

Analysis of developments in relation to the assessment of damages for libel, including the specific factors to be considered by a court; the guidance that may be given to a jury; and the power of the Supreme Court to make its own assessment.

Examination of the latest case law.

Relevant European judgements and the influence of developments in other jurisdictions.

Assessment of the impact of the pace of change in electronic media on trends in defamation law.

The latest judgments on libel law and social media.

The new edition of The Law of Defamation will provide practitioners and media professionals with the latest significant case law, along with a comprehensive but straightforward analysis of the developing law of libel in Ireland. All chapters have been revised and rewritten to incorporate recent developments.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Meaning
  3. Publication
  4. Identification
  5. Truth
  6. Honest Opinion
  7. Absolute Privilege
  8. Qualified Privilege
  9. Fair and Reasonable Publication on a Matter of Public Interest
  10. Innocent Publication, Regulations, Offer of Amends, Consent, Apology
  11. Injunctions
  12. Summary Relief
  13. Damages
  14. Malicious Falsehood
  15. The Press Council

The new edition features significant Irish cases of recent years, including:

Ryanair v Channel 4 [2018] on journalistic privilege
Lennon v HSE [2015] concerning the right to a jury
Christie v TV3 [2015] on the effect of an offer of amends
Leech v Independent Newspapers [2014] on calculating upper level damages
O’Brien v RTE [2015] on injunctions and parliamentary privilege
Meegan v Times Newspapers [2015] on discovery of journalists’ notes
Philpott v Irish Examiner [2016] on court reporting privilege
Watson v MGN [2016] on delays and limitation periods
McDonagh v Sunday Newspapers [2016] on appealing quantum of damages

It also deals with the influential cases emanating from the European Court of Human Rights and from other jurisdictions, including:

Delfi AS v Estonia [2015], the key ECHR ruling on internet comments
McAlpine v Bercow [2013] on libel in a tweet

Reviews of the first edition

“Mr Maher’s book is an excellent contribution to the literature, which analyses the subject, and particularly the 2009 Act, in a way that will be of huge help to legal practitioners, as well as being of considerable interest to the best law students… The virtues of The Law of Defamation are several: the book analyses a complex piece of legislation in a clear and well-researched manner; it makes judicious use of relevant decisions in England on similar but not identical legislation; it links the reader with the larger works on the subject; and it offers authoritative guidance to practitioners on matters of practice, procedure and evidence.”
Prof. William Binchy in The Irish Jurist 2013, 49(1), 246-248

“A clear, concise and interesting book…If practitioners want a raft to help them through these dangerous waters, they could do much worse than to cling to Mr Maher’s admirable work.”
Michael Kealey in The Law Society Gazette April 2012