Media Law

Case Study
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The United Kingdom has several important libel laws: defamation act is nevertheless the most important one. However does English libel legislation has Sullivan defense Whether there is any provision that resembles Sullivan method! In order to answer this question one should recall the main features of Sullivan defense, and recall this case in order to understand the meaning of the Sullivan defense.


Sullivan a policeman from Montgomery, Alabama, sued New York Times for alleged untrue facts about him in the ad of New York Times. Alleged false information consisted of several minor inaccurate details about the protests at Alabama State College. Most of them were of minor character (for instance the names of songs were confused or some other minor facts were stated).
Supreme Court found that newspaper really misrepresented some facts, yet it nevertheless held that public official who sued for the damages must prove first of all, that untrue information was intentionally presented as such or that no attempt was actually made to find out whether this information was false or untrue and thus gross neglect to the verification of the truth occurred. However, in the opinion of the Court no such intentions were evident in the actions of New York Times, and thus the case of the Sullivan collapsed. 1
However, is Sullivan defense present in current libel laws of the United Kingdom In order to answer this question one has to study the law that regulates libel and defamatory. Let us consider the most important features of UK libel law.
First of all, one should distinguish between slander and libel. ...
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