Libel and Slander Act 1892

Link to law: https://legislation.gov.im/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1892/1892-0007/LibelandSlanderAct1892_1.pdf
Published: 2012-09-01

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The Libel and Slander Act 1892

c i e
AT 7 of 1892

THE LIBEL AND SLANDER ACT 1892

The Libel and Slander Act 1892 Index


c AT 7 of 1892 Page 3

c i e
THE LIBEL AND SLANDER ACT 1892

Index Section Page

1 Short title .......................................................................................................................... 5
2 Interpretation ................................................................................................................... 5
3 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 6
4 Plea of apology in an action for defamation ............................................................... 6
5 Plea of apology for libel in a newspaper ..................................................................... 6
6 Consolidation of actions for libel .................................................................................. 6
7 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 7
8 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 7
9 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 7
10 No prosecution for a newspaper libel without order of a judge .............................. 7
11 Evidence to rebut prima facie case of publication by an agent ................................ 7
12 Inquiry by justice as to libel being for public benefit or true.................................... 7
13 Provision as to summary conviction for libel ............................................................. 8
14 Obscene matter need not be set out in indictment or other judicial
proceedings ...................................................................................................................... 8
15 Words not requiring special damage to render them actionable ............................. 8
ENDNOTES 9

TABLE OF LEGISLATION HISTORY 9
TABLE OF RENUMBERED PROVISIONS 9
TABLE OF ENDNOTE REFERENCES 9

The Libel and Slander Act 1892 Section 1


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c i e
THE LIBEL AND SLANDER ACT 1892

Received Royal Assent: 28 June 1892
Promulgated: 5 July 1892
Commenced: 5 July 1892
AN ACT
to Amend the Law respecting Libel and Slander.
GENERAL NOTES

1. The maximum fines in this Act are as increased by the Fines Act 1986 and by the
Criminal Justice (Penalties, Etc.) Act 1993 s 1.
2. References to the Rolls Office are to be construed in accordance with the General
Registry Act 1965.
1 Short title

This Act may be cited as “The Libel and Slander Act, 1892”.
2 Interpretation

In the construction of this Act the following expressions shall, unless repugnant
to the context, have the meanings hereby assigned to them —
“Newspaper
” shall mean any paper containing public news or intelligence or
occurrences, or any remarks or observations thereon, printed for sale,
and published in the Isle of Man periodically, or in parts or numbers, at
intervals not exceeding twenty-six days between the publication of any
two such papers, parts, or numbers, or containing only, or principally,
advertisements:
“Public meeting
” shall mean any meeting bona fide and lawfully held for a
lawful purpose, and for the furtherance or discussion of any matter of
public concern, whether the admission thereto be general or restricted:
“Indictment
” shall include information and a petition of a private prosecutor:
“Justice
” shall mean justice of the peace, and shall include a high-bailiff.
Section 3 The Libel and Slander Act 1892


Page 6 AT 7 of 1892 c

3 [Repealed]
1

4 Plea of apology in an action for defamation

In an action for defamation, it shall be lawful for the defendant to plead in his
defence that he has made or offered an apology to the plaintiff for such
defamation before the commencement of the action, or as soon afterwards as he
had an opportunity of doing so, in case the action shall have been commenced
before there was an opportunity of making or offering such apology, and on the
trial of the action to give in evidence, in mitigation of damages, the truth of such
plea.
5 Plea of apology for libel in a newspaper

In an action for a libel contained in a newspaper, it shall be competent to the
defendant to plead in his defence that such libel had been inserted in such
newspaper without actual malice, and without gross negligence, and that,
before the commencement of the action, or at the earliest opportunity
afterwards, he inserted, in such newspaper, a full apology for the said libel; or,
if the newspaper in which the libel appeared, should be ordinarily published at
intervals exceeding one week, had offered to publish the said apology in any
newspaper to be selected by the plaintiff in such action; and also of his having
tendered to the plaintiff, or his advocate or agent, a sum of money by way of
amends for the injury sustained in the publication of such libel, and on the trial
of the action to give in evidence, in mitigation of damages, the truth of such
plea.
6 Consolidation of actions for libel

(1) It shall be competent for the Court, upon an application by or on behalf
of two or more defendants in actions in respect to the same, or
substantially the same, libel, brought by one and the same person, to
make an order for the consolidation of such actions, so that they may be
tried together; and after such order has been made, and before the trial of
the said actions, the defendants in any new actions instituted in respect
to the same, or substantially the same, libel, shall also be entitled to be
joined in such consolidated or common action upon a joint application
being made by such new defendants, and the defendants in the actions
already consolidated.
(2) In a consolidated action under this section, the jury shall assess the whole
amount of the damages (if any) in one sum, but a separate verdict shall
be taken for or against each defendant in the same way as if the actions
consolidated had been tried separately; and if the jury shall have found a
verdict against the defendant or defendants in more than one of the
actions so consolidated, they shall proceed to apportion the amount of
damages which they shall have so found between and against the said
last-mentioned defendants; and the judge at the trial, if he awards to the
The Libel and Slander Act 1892 Section 7


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plaintiff the costs of the action, shall thereupon make such order as he
shall deem just for the apportionment of such costs between and against
such defendants.
(3) For the purposes of this section the word “jury” shall mean judge,
whenever the action is tried by the judge without a jury.
7 [Repealed]
2

8 [Repealed]
3

9 [Repealed]
4

10 No prosecution for a newspaper libel without order of a judge

No criminal prosecution, at the instance of a private prosecutor, shall be
commenced against any proprietor, publisher, editor, or any person responsible
for the publication of a newspaper, for any libel published therein, without the
order of a judge of the High Court of Justice (on application to be made
privately, or otherwise, as the judge may direct) being first had and obtained.
Such application shall be made on notice to the person accused, who shall have
an opportunity of being heard against such application.
11 Evidence to rebut prima facie case of publication by an agent

Whenever, upon the trial of an indictment for the publication of a libel, evidence
shall have been given which shall establish a presumptive case of publication
against the accused person, by the act of any other person by his authority, it
shall be competent to such accused person to prove that such publication was
made without his authority, consent, or knowledge, and that the said
publication did not arise from want of due care or caution on his part.
12 Inquiry by justice as to libel being for public benefit or true

A justice, upon the hearing of a charge against a proprietor, publisher, or editor,
or any person responsible for the publication of a newspaper, for a libel
published therein, may receive evidence as to the publication being for the
public benefit, and as to the matters charged in the libel being true, and as to the
report being fair and accurate, and published without malice, and as to any
matter which, under this or any other Act, or otherwise might be given in
evidence by way of defence by the person charged on his trial on indictment,
and the justice, if of opinion, after hearing such evidence, that there is a strong
or probable presumption that the jury on the trial would acquit the person
charged, may dismiss the case.
Section 13 The Libel and Slander Act 1892


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13 Provision as to summary conviction for libel

If a justice, upon the hearing of a charge against a proprietor, publisher, editor,
or any person responsible for the publication of a newspaper for a libel
published therein, is of opinion that, though the person charged is shown to
have been guilty, the libel is of a trivial character, and that the offence may be
adequately punished by virtue of the powers of this section, the justice shall
cause the charge to be reduced into writing, and read to the person charged, and
then address a question to him to the following effect —
“Do you desire to be tried by a jury, or do you consent to the case being
dealt with summarily?”
and if such person assent to the case being dealt with summarily, the justice
may summarily convict him, and adjudge him to pay a fine not exceeding
£2,500.
14 Obscene matter need not be set out in indictment or other judicial

proceedings

It shall not be necessary to set out in any indictment or other judicial
proceedings, civil or criminal, instituted against the publisher of any obscene
libel, the obscene passages, but it shall be sufficient, on the committal of the
person accused in a criminal proceeding, along with the proceeding before the
justice, to transmit to the Rolls Office, or, at the time of the commencement of
the action in a civil proceeding, along with the statement of claim or other
pleading first filed in the action, to deposit in the Rolls Office the book,
newspaper, or other documents containing the alleged libel, together with
particulars showing precisely, by reference to pages, columns, and lines, in what
part of the book, newspaper, or other document the alleged libel is to be found,
and such particulars shall be deemed to form part of the record, and all
proceedings may be taken therein, as though the passages complained of had
been set out in the indictment or judicial proceeding.
15 Words not requiring special damage to render them actionable

Words spoken and published after the promulgation of this Act, which impute
unchastity, or adultery to any woman, or girl, shall not require special damage
to render them actionable.
The Libel and Slander Act 1892 Endnotes


c AT 7 of 1892 Page 9

ENDNOTES

Table of Legislation History

Legislation Year and No Commencement






Table of Renumbered Provisions

Original Current






Table of Endnote References

1
Spent: repeal of Act of 1846. 2
S 7 repealed by Defamation Act 1954 s 16. 3
S 8 repealed by Law Reform Act 1997 Sch 2. 4
S 9 repealed by Defamation Act 1954 s 16.