Defamation (Libel and Slander)

Find leading Defamation (Libel and Slander) lawyers and law firms in Ontario

What is Defamation and Slander Law in Ontario?

Defamation, which encompasses both libel and slander, is a civil wrong that can occur when a statement harms an individual’s reputation. In Canada, defamation law aims to balance the protection of reputation with freedom of expression.

Libel refers to defamation that is communicated in written or printed form, such as in a newspaper or online publication. Slander, on the other hand, refers to defamation that is spoken or conveyed in a non-permanent form, such as in a conversation or radio broadcast.

To prove defamation, the plaintiff must show that the statement in question was both false and harmful to their reputation. In addition, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the statement was communicated to a third party, and that the defendant either knew the statement was false or was reckless in making the statement without regard for its truth or falsity.

Defences to Defemation and Slander

There are certain defenses that a defendant can use in a defamation case. One common defense is truth, which means that the statement was in fact true and therefore not defamatory. Another defense is fair comment, which applies to statements that are made honestly and in good faith regarding a matter of public interest or concern. In addition, absolute privilege may apply to statements made in certain contexts, such as in a court proceeding or in Parliament, where the speaker is protected from liability for defamation.

In Canada, defamation lawsuits can result in significant damages. A plaintiff may be awarded general damages, which compensate for the harm done to their reputation, as well as special damages, which compensate for any actual financial loss that resulted from the defamation. In addition, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious.

It’s important to note that the onus of proof in a defamation case rests with the plaintiff, meaning that they must demonstrate that the defendant is responsible for the defamatory statement. However, recent changes to the law in Canada have made it easier for plaintiffs to pursue defamation claims against online publishers and social media companies.

Overall, defamation law in Canada strikes a balance between protecting an individual’s reputation and upholding freedom of expression. Anyone who is considering publishing or sharing a statement that could be considered defamatory should be aware of the potential legal consequences and seek legal advice if necessary.

Defamation (Libel and Slander) lawyers and law firms in Ontario

Law Firm


Practice Area

BT Legal
City: Toronto
Practice Areas: Civil Law, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property, Personal Injury, Real Estate Law, Employment Law, Wills & Estates
Nuri Law
City: Toronto
Practice Areas: Civil Law, Family Law