In Malaysia, the tort of defamation is governed under the Malaysian Defamation Act 1957 which is related to the English Defamation Act 1952 and must be read together.? The Malaysian Defamation Act 1957 did not define the word ‘defamation’ in it. Lord Atkin in the case of Sim v. Stretch? defined the word “defamation” as a statement either oral or written, temporary or permanent, which injures the reputation of another by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule or which tends to lower him in the esteem of right-thinking members of the society.? It could be said as the good name of someone is affected and cause him to be look down by any reasonable people.
There are two classifications for defamation, which are libel and slander. Libel is a type of defamation that is on a permanent form and is actionable per se while slander is stated through spoken words or gesture and is on a momentary form. Slander is not actionable per se and damages need to be proved by the plaintiff to succeed in his claim. In Malaysia, libel and slander falls under both torts and crimes.?
The burden of proof for defamation is on the plaintiff. They must show that all the three elements of defamation are fulfilled. The elements are the words are defamatory, the words must refer to the plaintiff and the words have been published.?
Several defences may be raised in order to avoid themselves from being liable if all the elements of defamation are fulfilled. Generally, in a defamation suit, the defences can be classified into three, which are firstly, preliminary legal procedure based defences, secondly defences as provided under the defamation act and thirdly, defences as provided by other statutes?.
The preliminary legal procedure based defences broadly speaking involves Power to Strike Out matter and Defence Submission of “No Case to Answer”.?
Defamation Act Based Defences is the defences that are given in the Defamation Act. This includes Unintentional Defamation (s.7), Justification (s. 8), Fair Comment (s. 9), Apology (s. 10), Privileged Matters (s. 11), Limitation of Privileged at elections (s. 14), Qualified Privileged of Newspapers (s. 12), Agreements for Indemnity (s. 15), Evidence of other damages recovered by plaintiff (s. 16) and also, Severance of defences (s. 19).
The third defence is the defences as provided by other relevant statutes. It is a defence that using other lawful alternative approach in the law such as the Limitation Act 1953 (Act 254).?
This defence is usually use when there is no reasonable cause of action. There are two possibilities that can be use as defences.
Firstly, the plaintiff may strike out the whole of a defence. This defence may only be used when the case is plain and common. There are a three situation that may lead the defendant to strike it out which are when the defence is wholly unsound and unsustainable, where there is reluctance to supply and material particulars and lastly, it can also be strike out per O 18 r 19 Rules of the High Court 1980.
For the first situation, in setting out the defence to a suit of libel, it is only applicable in a clear-cut case. This was said by Lord Pearson in the case of Drummond-Jackson v British Medical Association &Ors?, “…it has been firmly established by many authorities that the power to strike out a statement of claim as disclosing no reasonable cause of action is a summary power which should be exercised only in plain and obvious cases…”.
A “plain and obvious” case is best understood from the case of Bank of China v Asiaweek Ltd?, where it was explained by the court that it is not a case that involve a serious argument or a case where the length of it takes a long time. The case must only have one absolute result and striking it out is a necessity for the court to do so.
For the second situation, where there a reluctance to produce the material of facts. The plaintiff may apply for the defences to be strike out. In the case of Lee Kuan Yew v Chin Vui Khen & Anor?, Siti Norma Yaakob J held, allowing the claim that reference to publication alone cannot be look at as the material of facts. The reluctance of the plaintiff in supplying evidence constitute that their defamatory words was justified hence, their defences were struck out.
For the third situation, the defences are strike out per O 18 r 19 Rules of High Court 1980. Under the per O 18 r 19 Rules of High Court 1980, one may apply to strike out based on any or all limbs of O 18 r 19(1)(a) to (d); O 18 r 19 Rules of the High Court 1980 allows the court to “at any stage of the proceedings order to be struck out or amended any pleadings”.?
In the case of RS Krishnan a/l RS Naidu v Eric Soon Boo Teck?, the defendant relied on the O 18 r 19(1)(b), (c) and (d) of the Rules of High Court 1980. The defendant’s application was dismissed by the Senior Assistant Registrar. The defendant appealed but the High Court dismissed the appeal as the only ground for the defendant in their affidavit was that there was no disclosure of any reasonable causation from the statement of claim.
Secondly, the defence of “No Case to Answer”. The claim may be brought up when the wrong lawsuit is carry on upon the plaintiff or when the case falls under the Criminal Defamation?.
This can be understood from the case of UN Pandey v Hotel Marco Polo Pte Ltd,? where in this case, Sinnathuray J stated that the court may allow the submission of no case to answer without giving the defendant his election and without asking him to prove the case if the submission fails.
This was contrary to the case of Goh Ya Tian v Tan Song Gou ; Ors?. In this case, the judge was on view that the defendant counsel’s election has a saying in this matter and if he insisted in giving prove, the court shall not give its decision.
Defences provided by the Defamation Act
The main defences that can be rise by the defendant are the defences that are legislated under the Defamation Act 1957. The defences are provided following the proviso in the Act. For instance, the defence for justification falls under Section 8 of the Act and fair comment in Section 9. Moreover, there are also other defences offered in the Act including privileged matters in Sections 11 and 12 and unintentional defamation under Section 7.
Justification or Truth
The burden of proof for the defence of justification is upon the defendant. The defendant must prove that the statement is true. If the statement is the truth, the reason for it to be published by the defendant is rationalize. The defendant will not be liable for the word he had published, either through libel or slander. The plaintiff will not be needed to prove his case by saying the statement was wrong as defamatory words are presumed by the law to be false.?
In the case of Institute of Commercial Management United Kingdom v New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd?, one of the issues raised is whether the defence of justification was available to the defendant. In this case, the defendant failed to prove that the statement was true. The court held that on this issue, justification is a complete defence to an action of libel and slander that the defamatory allegation is true. The defendant must prove the truth of the accusation that had been made.
The provision provided is in Section 8 of the Defamation Act 1957 (the Act)?, where it is stated that: “In an action for libel or slander in respect of words containing two or more distinct charges against the plaintiff, a defence of justification shall not fail by reason only that the truth of every charge is not proved if the words not proved to be true do not materially injure the plaintiff’s reputation having regard to the truth of the remaining charges.”
One of the case that had applied this section is the case of Abdul Rahman Talib v Seenivasagam & Anor?,the defence of justification had succeeded to be raised by the defendant as the court held that the reputation of the plaintiff did not fall due to the unproved allegation of him receiving money as the truth of the allegation that the plaintiff had receiving favours to his personal benefit as a government minister had been proved by the defendant.
According to the case of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim v Dato’ Seri Mahathir Mohamad?, in the trial court, the defendant’s counsel succeeded in his argument that section 8 of the Defamation Act 1957 had observed the situation. The appellant appealed saying that the allowed facts in Munawar’s and Sukma’s cases did not justify the use of the word ‘masturbation’ in proving that his action is justified. The court dismissed the appeal as it was proved to have truth in the statement and it is a matter of fact.
In contrast, in the case of Lee Kuan Yew v Derek Gwyn Davies & Ors?, the defendant failed to in his defence of justification. This is because the court held that to a reasonable reader, the statement suggests a greater indication than that being argued by the defendants.
The defendant may not be found liable if his comment was said to be fair and out of honesty. Generally, when the Defamation Act applies the word “fair comment”, its consequences are that it had been thought to constitute “the comments have to be only be fair”.? But, actually the comment must also be proved to not have any hatred intention and it is believe to be an honest point of view.
Under Section 9 of the Defamation Act 1957?, “in an action for libel or slander in respect of words consisting partly of allegations of fact and partly of expression of opinion, a defence of fair comment shall not fail by reason only that the truth of every allegation of fact is not proved if the expression of opinion is fair comment having regard to such of the facts alleged or referred to in the words complained of as are proved”.
There is a distinction between the defences of having fair comment and justification or truth. In justification, it focussed on pointing out the truth of the statement while in fair comment, it is more to proving that the statement given was a comment which is fair and honest and not a fact.?
There are three conditions need to be fulfilled for a comment is said to be fair which are subject to the provisions of s 9 of the Act it must be based on facts truly stated, it must not contain accusation of shameful or devious purposes on the person who is being criticised, as long as such allegations are assured with facts and lastly, the writer’s legal opinion must be the honest point of view from himself.
Meanwhile, the elements of fair comment need to be established in order for this defence to be applicable. It was stated in the case of JB Jeyaretnam v Goh Chok Tong?, where the court upheld the interpretation of the learned judge on the elements of fair comment. The learned judge, Thean J. was right with the meaning in which the word was used in the country. Thean J. in his judgment said that the defendant must establish four elements to succeed on the defence of fair comment. The four elements referring to the words by Thean J. are: “(i) the words complained of are comment, though it may consist of or include inference of facts; (ii) the comment is on a matter of public interest; (iii) the comment is based on facts, and (iv) the comment is one which a fair-minded person can honestly make on the facts proved.”
Based on the above case, the first element is the words complained of must be a comment. The publication or utterance of the words must be in a manner of comment and not a statement of fact.? Even though it may include inference of facts, it cannot be a fact.
In the case of Lee Kuan Yew v Derek Gwyn Davies & Ors?, the court had laid out a test to constitute whether the words are an allegation of fact of a mere comment. It is crucial in determining whether if a reasonable and prudent man heard the statement, would think of it as a fact or a comment. The examples for a situation to be an allegation of fact is if he declares that the plaintiff has been guilty of disgraceful conduct without stating what that conduct was or if he states the bare inference without the facts on which it is based. Meanwhile, the examples for a situation to be a comment is if the defendant had stated what a man has done, and then declare that such conduct is disgraceful, his comment on the plaintiff’s conduct is merely his opinion or if he sets out the facts correctly, and then gives his inferences stating it as his inference from those facts, such inference will, as a rule, be deemed as a comment.
For the second element, which is the comment must be an issue regarding to the public interest. The issue includes in relating to court proceedings and significant people in the society.
In raising this defence, the most crucial thing that is needed for this defence to be established is by knowing what resemble lawful public interest.? There are two ways in finding it out. Firstly, is by having a wide scope of issues relating to public interest. It should not be understood in a certain limitation. In the case of Cox v Feeney,? the court held that “as the matter was one of public interest, the defendant was not liable, provided he published it fairly, from an honest desire to afford the public information.” In this case, as the issuance of the statement is for the benefit of the public, the tort was not liable upon the defendant.
The second thing on the ways of knowing if the matter falls under public interest is the defamatory words affect the public. The things that are concerning are the matter is understood by the nature of the society, the method of the spreading of the words and the basic and basic rule of freedom of speech. This does not consider whether the act is lawful or not or whether it involve a large scale of people or certain people.?
There are no provisions in the Defamation Act that defined a matter of public interest.? The matter that was relate to public interest was understood from precedent cases. There are several issues that falls under public interest and fair comment may be applicable as a defence.
For instance, in the case of Watson v Walter?, the affairs of state had been said to be a matter of public interest. Besides, the complete administration of justice is also constituted as a matter relating to public interest as stated in the case of Lewis v Ley.? Furthermore, in the case of Purcell v Sowler?, the court held that public institutions and local authorities are in regard to public interest.
In the case of Pustaka Delta Pelajaran Sdn Bhd v Berita Harian Sdn Bhd,? the issue being brought up in this case is whether the statements in a newspaper in relating to the quality and the gist of the secondary school textbooks are related to matter concerning public interest. The court held accepting the argument that it was a subject in regards to public interest.
In the case of London Artists Ltd v Littler?, the defence of fair comment was rejected by the trial judge because the defendant failed to prove that the matter involves the public and there was no fact to support the claim.
For the third element that is needed for the defence of fair comment to succeed is that the comment is based on facts. The comment must be the truth and the readers can distinguish whether it is a comment or fact. The comment is the opinion of the writer and it must be in inference of facts.
In the case of Mohd Jali bin Haji Ngah v The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd & Anor,? the defendant act of providing the facts on which the basis of the comment was made is adequate to constitute that the comment was made of fact.
In addition, with regards to the case of Telnikoff v Matusevitch,? the defendant succeeded in raising the defence of fair comment as his words was proved to be true, regardless it is defamatory. In order for the defence of fair comment to succeed, the defendant must provide the facts that shows the truth of his words.
In contrast, in the case of SB Palmer v Rajah & Ors,? the defendant failed to prove their words that the plaintiff act of leaving a meeting in a dramatic way when the fact is he did it ordinarily. The accusation was not evident with any facts. Hence, the defence failed and he is liable for the tort.
For the fourth element of fair comment that is required is that the comment is one that any people with sound mind can honestly make based on the facts proved. The comment must be made fairly without any malice intention.? There is no statutory definition for malice given in the Defamation Act 1957. In the case of Chong Siew Chiang v Chua Ching Geh & Anor,? “malice” is stated as ill will or spite or some previous quarrel or bad relationship or any indirect or improper motive in the mind of the defendant at the time of publication. The comment published by the writer must be made out from his good faith on the other person. He should made the statement without involving any personal grudge against the people he is writing the statement about.
However, even if the writer has a bad intention, according to the JB Jeyaretnam case,? if any other prudent and reasonable person would come out with the same words as he had given, it will still constitute as a fair comment. But, if the choice of words used is harsh, it would lead to malice. In the case of Abdul Khalid v Parti Islam Se Malaysia,? the court held that the language used by the defendants was harsh and inconsistent with the situation where it happened evident to their act of being malicious.
Also, the writer must believe the statement he had published to be true. If he did not believe the truth in his words, it would constitute as malice?. This was evident in the same case as above where the court held that the defendant did not bother on the truth of the statement and thus the court construe them as acting irresponsibly.
Privilege is given to certain people to give them the permission to say something without being held liable that in normal circumstances the utterance will be fall under the act of defamation. Generally, privilege is categorised into two, absolute privilege and qualified privilege?.
Absolute privileges happen when freedom of expression specifically in communication and information is needed in certain circumstances.? In this situation, a person is allowed to speak his mind without worrying on the consequences of his words. It is administered under the rule of law and the elements must be demonstrated firmly.?
The statements that will be established under absolute privilege includes the statements that are given in parliamentary proceedings, judicial proceedings and military proceedings.? Some other examples of absolute privilege has been provided by the court in the case of BHLP Trustee Bhd & Anor v HSBC (M) Trustee Bhd & Ors? are Parliamentary Privilege, Judicial Privilege, Official Privilege, Statutory Privilege, Reports of Parliamentary Proceedings, Newspaper Reports of Judicial Proceedings and The Question of Public Policy.
In parliamentary proceedings or debates, the statements that are spoke upon it are protected under absolute privilege. This includes every other matter that are given the consent by the Parliament to publish it in any form such as reports and papers.? In the case of Times Publishing Bhd & Ors v S Sivadas,? the court held that opinions in written form stated by the public in regarding issues that was given out by the Parliament also falls under absolute privilege, even if the statement is done maliciously. This indicates that the privilege protects the statements based before the parliamentary proceedings.
In judicial proceedings, the privilege was stated under Section 11(1) of the Defamation Act where it specified that any fair and precise statement being brought up in a court proceeding are immune from any liability.? The privilege is not limited to certain people, but it includes almost everybody involved in the court litigation. To the extent, it also benefitted the witnesses and solicitor-client interaction.?
Fry LJ in the case of Munster v Lamb ? explained on the reason for the privilege in court proceedings which he stated as to give the authority the means in exercising their duty without any restrictions. If the rule is nonexistence, there will be difficulties in serving justice.
In the case of Joceline Tan Poh Choo v Muthusamy,? the defence was not applicable as in this case, the statement that was published was not made in the court proceeding. The privilege can only be exercised if it is said in the court of law.
The Court of Appeal in the case of Chatterton v Secretary of State For India in Council? held that a transmission between a state officer to another in subject to state concerns is also an absolute privileged act and cannot be held liable under tort of defamation.
The defence of absolute privilege is easier to raise than qualified privilege as the only way to rebut when an absolute privilege defence was accepted by the court is by giving evidence of malicious utterance on the person who published the statement.? There is only one way on proving it thus, it was a strong defence on behalf of the defendant.
Qualified privilege is a limited to a person in an occasion that he is given the right to express himself in form of written or utterance which may be a libel or slander act on behalf of anyone else.? In the said circumstances, he individually is privileged and had the qualification to act upon it and his words will not be considered defamatory when others are not allowed to do so. There are two modes in using the defence of qualified privilege. First, one can apply it under the statutory provisions and second, under common law.
Firstly, the provision provided for statutory qualified privilege is under Section 12 of the Defamation Act 1957 and for any other issues, they can be found in the Schedule of the Act.? The only people whom involved in legal actions that can raise the defence of statutory qualified privilege based on Section 12(1) of the Act are the publisher of a newspaper report or other matter as is mentioned in Part I of the Schedule to this Act with exception of if there is evidence that the publication made with malice. Section 13(1) added that this privilege protected the reports or matter being published in Malaysia to the extent of the words from broadcasting stations through radio communication.
For a report to be protected under this proviso, it must satisfy the three requirements provided in it. First, under Section 12(1), the report must be a type of report that is stated in the schedule. Second, according to Section 12(3), the report must not be the type that is profane, offensive or illegal. Thirdly, also under the same provision, it was mentioned that the report but be of the public interest.
In reference to the case of Kho Poh Teck v Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd?, the High Court dismissing the plaintiff’s claim, held that the publication of the advertisement regarding his financial dependency in the newspaper was protected under the Defamation Act 1957 and the defence of privilege was accepted by the court.
On the second method, which is under common law or also known as common law qualified privilege, the principles were referred to precedent law cases.
For the defence of qualified privilege, the defendant must prove that it was held in a privileged occasion. Based on the case of Reynolds v Times Newspaper Ltd?, there are three stages of tests that must be proved in order for the occasion to be considered as privilege. It is also called the Reynolds Privilege’?. The tests are the duty test, the interest test and the circumstantial test. The duty test is on the question of whether the publisher owes a duty to made the statement while the interest test asked on whether the recipient had an interest in receiving the statement. In the circumstantial test, the question is should the material and circumstances of the publication in accordance to the public interest be protected if there is no malicious element in it.
The qualification for the defendant to succeed in this defence is that he must has a duty to publish the statement and the public whom being addressed to must have an interest in his saying.? Four important circumstances that could be laid out from the above statement are there is a duty, public issues, mutual interest and the statement made must with the purpose to protect others.
First circumstances that falls under privileged occasion is the statement must be made under a legal, moral or social duty, whether it is a public or private duty. Leslie Scott, K.C. in the case of London Association for Protection of Trade v. Greenlands, Ld,? referring to the explanation provided by Parke B. in Toogood v. Spyring (1834) 1 Cr M & R 181, in an occasion which is “fairly made by a person in the discharge of some public or private duty, whether legal or moral, or in the conduct of his own affairs, in matters where his interest is concerned.” The duty of a person protected him to carry out his obligation.
The second circumstance is that it must be related to the public. The statement was made for the purpose of settling the public trouble or arguments by the authority.? In the case of Blackshaw v Lord 1983 2 All ER 311, two elements for it to be considered under public matters are that the publisher has a duty to the public interest in giving the statement and the public who obtain the words must have interest to know about it.
In the case of Adam v Ward?, the court held that the occasion is said to be privileged if the communication was made in acquirement of a duty or on a matter in which there was a similar benefit between the people producing and getting it.
The third circumstance is that both parties must have a mutual interest on the matter being discussed. In the case of S Pakianathan v Jenni Ibrahim?, the appellant plea for qualified privilege for his publication failed as the respondent did not show any interest in receiving the publication.
The fourth circumstance is that the statement is made to protect another person’s interest or property.? In the case of Osborn v Thomas Boulter and Son?, it was stated in the arguments in the trial court that the occasion of the accusation made by the brewers, who were protecting their own interests by rejecting the suggestion of bad beer and suggesting another cause for its inferior quality, was privileged.
Furthermore, there is also protection provided for other parties who may receive the statement in the process of giving and accepting the statement and it is called the ‘ancillary’ qualified privilege. For instance, the typist or publicist of the statement. In the case of Mahadevi Nadchatiram v Thiruchelvasegaram Manickavasegar?, the knowledge of the clerk of the legal firm on the matter is said to be fall under qualified privilege.
However, one cannot rise the defend of privilege for another. It was evident in the case of Adam v Ward? that there is no privilege for defamatory words given in defence of other party except with the existence of a special relationship, such as solicitor and client.
This privilege can be rebutted if the person had done beyond his duty and also with the existence of evidence of express malice. In the case of Rajagopal v Rajan,? the defence of qualified privilege was rejected by the learned judge on the basis that the defendant had surpassed his duty as a secretary by spreading copies of the statement to persons outside the scope under the privilege and in this case also, there are proof of express malice.
Unintentional defamation is also known as innocent publication. This defence may be applied to the defendant whom accidentally published a statement without realizing it to be defamatory. This is governed under Section 7 of the Defamation Act. The defence can only be applicable in two situations.
Firstly, it can be applied in a situation where the defamatory words are clear and understandable through it natural meaning including false innuendo if the defendant can show the evidence that the act is unintentional to be published and he did not intend to bother the plaintiff. Also, the reference of the words to the plaintiff must be beyond the prediction of the defendant and lastly, under Section 7(5)(a), the defendant had taken all justified precaution and care in the process of the publication of the statement.
The second situation is when the words are defamatory on the plaintiff in certain ways or in some apparent facts such as true innuendo, the publication is held unintentionally in publishing it when he did not realize that his words would be implied as defaming towards the plaintiff and when he had taken all the reasonable steps and care in accordance with the publication.
There are exceptions provided in several cases from the situations given above. Section 7(5) had stated that unintentional or innocent publication is not applicable if the statement clearly specified to a certain individual.? This is illustrated in the case of Bank of China v Asiaweek Ltd?, where it was said that if the words being released was indeed referring to a specific person, even it was not mentioned in the publication, it does not fall under unintentional defamation.
After publishing the defamatory article, the defendant should take reasonable steps in making amendments to the plaintiff.? This is provided under Section (7)(3) of the Act. There are many ways to show the sincerity of the defendant’s in admitting his wrongdoing. Firstly, he could publish or join in the publication in correcting the defamatory words he had published and giving a proper apology to the party affected by his statement. Besides, he should inform the people who may have received or saw the defamatory statement by clarifying the mistake he had done.
The peace offering must be done immediately after realizing the defamatory of the statement that had been published. This was illustrated in the case of Sandison v Malayan Times Ltd & Ors,? where the court held that as there was a time lapse between the publication of the writing and the offers to amend and it should have been done immediately.
According to Section 7(1)(b) of the Act, the defence could only be applicable for the person who wrote the article, not another party except he could prove that the statement was made without malicious intention.
Defences as provided by other statutes
The third defence for the act of the defamation is the defences as given in any other rule of law.? The main source in rising a defence of defamation may be referred to the Defamation Act itself. However, in certain situation, the defences may be applicable elsewhere in other statutory provisions. This defences may be found in the pleading of the defence of duress, plea of estoppel, authorized or acquiesced in the publication (leave and license) and pleading limitation of action.
Pleading of the defence of duress
The claim for duress must be in a complete form. All the relevant facts on the act of duress must be stated. In the case of Tan Seng Ann v Public Prosecutor,? the law that governed the plea for duress falls under Section 94 of the Penal Code (FMS Cap 45). It was held that for the plea to be applicable, it must be forthcoming, dangerous and permanent.
Furthermore, this issue was also governed under the Contracts Act 1950 but not under the term duress as a defence. This was clearly stated in the case of OCBC Securities (Melaka) Sdn Bhd v Koh Kee Huat? where the court explained that “…although Section 15 does not provide for duress as defence, in Malaysia the concept of duress and that of coercion have been used interchangeably. I shall therefore treat them as such here”. The learned judge had applied Section 15 in giving his judgement in the case which was related to economic duress.
Authorized or acquiesced in the publication (leave and license)
This defence is based on the maxim volenti non fit injuria which means the person had consented for the tort.?
In referring to the case of Chapman v Lord Ellesmere & Ors,? the learned judge Slesser LJ held that the plaintiff had assented to the publication of the result and he could not said otherwise. The libellous or slanderous statement that had been given out by the defendant with the permission of the plaintiff to published it out cannot be held liable under this tort.
Pleading limitation of action
The plea for limitation of action is governed under the Malaysia Limitation Act 1953 (Act 254). This defence will result the claim brought by the plaintiff to be time-barred. This was stated in the case of Wong Chan Mew v Hong Leong?. In this case, the appellant appeal for the trial judge decision on dismissing the claim made by the plaintiff for defamation as the court accepted the defendant argument that the limitation period to bring the action had expired. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision by the trial court.
The tort for defamation generally are governed under the Defamation Act 1957 (Revised 1983), Act 286. The defences for defamation can be classified into three. The first defence is being raised by the plaintiff. The plaintiff can choose to strike out the case if it is obvious and clear. The defences for the defendant are under the second classification which it is legislated under the Defamation Act while the third one focused on other relevant statutes. Other relevant statutes are applied when the material facts of the case are similar. The defendant must prove all the elements required in the defences they choose to bring up. The common thing that falls under all defences is that it must not be malicious. If the requirements for the defences are incomplete or insufficient, the person who published the defamatory statement may be held liable and need to pay the damages. In matter concerning unintentional or innocent defamation, the person who commit the defamatory must offer amendments to