fair comment

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The defence to an action for defamation that the statement made was fair comment on a matter of public interest. The facts on which the comment is based must be true and the comment must be fair. Any honest expression of opinion, however exaggerated, obstinate, or prejudiced, can be fair comment (Tse Wai Chun Paul v Albert Cheng [2001] EMLR 777), but remarks inspired by personal spite and mere abuse are not. The judge decides whether or not the matter is one of public interest. See also rolled-up plea.

Subjects: Law.

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