In America, you can say and print anything you want about anyone (with very few, very circumscribed limitations) as long as it is true and not fear criminal prosecution for libel or slander. (Anyone can bring civil suit against anyone at any time, but the case faces being thrown out if it makes the judge’s eyes roll back in his head.)
AFAIR: In most countries using the English style legal system truth is not a defence to libel, whether absolute or not. Instead there must also be an element of the statement being in the public interest.
(For those playing along at home, the Republic of Korea is the official name of South Korea. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is North Korea, which is just as evil a spot to live as any country with that many adjectives would seem.)
Without going into too much detail, this does seem to show that truth, on its own , is not an adequate defence. Although the former says “substantially justify or prove the truth” I think it means “and prove the truth.”
The latter talks of “fair” comment and evidence of malice, which are kind of the same thing I indicated in my earlier post. However in depth research may show that my recollection or understanding was wrong.
If the person who claims to have been slandered can atrribute any financial damage to his business or loss of reputation to the “slanderous” comments, the judge will side with that person. As mentioned above, it doesn’t matter that the comment was true, just that it was “damaging.”
Dominic Mulligan, Sevastopol: British law was what was in the back of my mind when I posted the thread, but I made it as broad as possible because I’m interested in law of this form all over the world. Thus, your discussion is very interesting to me.
Yikes! So, is it basically impossible to ever say anything damaging about a big company or a rich person? I’m guessing that Korean news shows must be quite a bit different than their American counterparts.
It used to be that in Australia, a defendant had to demonstrate both truth and public benefit. The theory was said to be that as a nation of convict backgrounds wherever you looked, it was too easy to defame people who needed protection. That went by the board in very recent times. The states got together and decided on uniform principles that allowed a defence of “substantial truth”. For an example, see here: