What are the Grounds for Defamation of Character? A Quick Guide!

February 23, 2024    litigation lawyers
What are the Grounds for Defamation of Character? A Quick Guide!

The defamation law is implemented to ensure that freedom of speech does not translate into freedom of verbal attack. This law gives people at the receiving end of such attacks the ability to defend themselves with the help of any civil defamation lawyer.

A claim for defamation of character is made when the victim is subjected to a false statement that causes any harm to their reputation. Like most other claims, one must provide proper evidence. The Australian law allows any spoken, written, or pictorial statements to support this claim.

The complainant can also prove their claim with the help of “imputations,” which means a negative statement to blame someone’s behavior.

It is to be remembered that this process can be costly. The defender must also be mindful of the grounds of defamation of character as listed below. There are different requirements for different defamation laws, but all follow general ground rules. In Australia, the law is abided by the State and Territory legislation.

Grounds for Defamation of Character

Often, victims fail to file a complaint against issues like this because it can be expensive and time-consuming. For many, it can also be hard to understand what defamation entails. Defamation can be verbal and written. One can be attacked through social media and mediums of blogs, comics, drawings, and photography.

Currently, due to the growing popularity of social media and the internet, online defamation cases or cyberbullying is becoming increasingly evident. If the statement scarves the sufferer’s character with their false statements, they can issue a formal complaint with a defamation lawyer in Perth. However, minor events of gossiping do not count as defamation if they do not damage your character.

Here are some factors that can be considered as defamation of character.

  • The declaration must be defamatory, whether oral or written or in any other form.
  • The statement must be false.
  • It must be referred to the complainant.
  • There must be some evidence.
  • The statement should cause harm to the character or reputation of the sufferer.
  • A third party must have overheard the false statement.
  • The wrongdoer must be made aware of a third party overhearing the statement.

Defamation Act in Perth

The defamation law in Western Australia is controlled by Australian law and by the Defamation Act 2005.
In this act, first, the sufferer needs to send a ‘Concerns Notice’ to the wrongdoer. This Concerns Notice will contain the concerns inscribed in the Defamation Act. Then, they can issue a formal complaint.

If the perpetrator cannot follow through, they face damage of about $389,500. If any defamatory statement has been published in writing, they can face imprisonment for about three years and a fine of about $12,000.
Contact a civil litigation lawyer to ensure a follow-through of the above-mentioned factors.

What To Do In Case Of Online Defamation?

Given the accessibility of the internet, social media has gained prompt popularity. With it, there has been an increase in cyberbullying and online harassment. Given the features of social media, it is easy to hide or alter evidence of harassment. Therefore, it becomes more challenging to record such cases.

Besides utilizing the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to make a complaint, here are other ways to take action against online defamation.

  • Report cyber bullying
  • Remove improper and offensive content or ask the person to do the same
  • Contact a parent, guardian, teacher, or any adult if you are a minor


In Perth, defamation of character is also called a ‘tort.’ The concept of defamation might be abstract for some, which makes it harder to recognize the issue and file a complaint with the help of a litigation lawyer. It is to remember on what grounds a statement, oral, written, or in any other form, can be considered defamation. After recognizing the problem, the next step would be to take the required measures.

Be mindful of the Defamation Act in Western Australia. If you are a minor, remember to seek guidance from a trusted adult figure to make the necessary decisions.

Taking action is often time-consuming and expensive. However, avoiding it can result in a long-term social problem. If you face any such cases, first-hand or as an observer, take the help of an experienced defamation lawyer in Perth. Educate yourself and take action as required.

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