诽谤听起来很严重,但是我们检视以下周遭,是否会发现其实也许已经观察到一些诽谤行为?其实诽谤案子越来越多,大家也必须当心避免诽谤了他人。

While defamation cases may have once seemed a rare occurrence not often seen, the recent cases involving Australian actors Geoffrey Rush and Rebel Wilson have shone a spotlight on this legal issue.  It is therefore important to understand the basic concepts of defamation in Australia to ensure you do not breach the legal requirements.

以下是构成诽谤的要素:

For an act to be considered defamation it must satisfy the following three requirements:

1.发表

Publication

发表必须是要传达给第三者(即并非只传达给原告)。发表可以是书面的,也可以是叙述的。书面的发表可以是一篇文章或者一则讯息。叙述可以只对小部分的人的叙述,也可以是对多人的演讲。

The publication, or defamatory statement must be made to another person (that is not the person who is the subject of the publication). A publication can be written or oral. Written publication can be in the form of an article, or as informal as a text message. Oral publication can be made to a small group of people or in the course of a speech to a larger crowd.

2. 该发表辨认或者针对原告

The publication must identify the person allegedly defamed (plaintiff)

该发表不一定要指名道姓,即使用代号,如果原告可以证明这个代号可以接收到发表的人知道发表指的是他,这个要素就可以成立。

The person allegedly being defamed can be identified even if they are not named.

 

3. 该发表具有诽谤性质的传播

The publication is defamatory

法官不会考虑发表者是否有意诽谤。判断发表是否有诽谤性质,首先法院会判定发表的言词里的意思。如果意思不清晰,或者是原告想要提出该发表其实有深层或者隐藏的褒义,原告必须提出证明。一般来说,具有诽谤性质的发表具备其中以下条件:

The publisher’s intention is irrelevant. Words are judged in context, either by the standards of a reasonable person in their ordinary use of such words, or with a special meaning (if it is established that some people will understand the special meaning). Generally, a publication is defamatory if any of the following can be established:

在社会思想端正人士眼中, 原告的地位被贬低

The person’s reputation is lowered in the eyes of the general public.

发表的内容让群众避开原告

The publication results in the public avoiding the person.

发表的内容让群众厌恶,憎恨或者藐视原告

The publication results in the public forming an adverse view of the person.

 

一些大众比较常见的抗辩理由为下:

Even if all the requirements above are met and it could be found that a defamatory statement has been made, there are a number of defences. They include:

  • 真实依据 Truth

如果被告的发表是事实,就可以成功推翻诉讼

If the defamatory statement is true, this is a defence against defamation. Truth is the strongest defence.

  • 均衡评论 Fair comment or honest opinion

如果被告的看法有真实依据,或者是一个均衡的评论,既可成功推翻诉讼

The defamatory statement/publication is based on honest opinion or is a fair comment.

  • 绝对特权 Absolute privilege

在以下某些场合可豁免诽谤责任:议员在国会会议的言词,法官在法院听审的时候的言词等

The publication is made in the context of a parliamentary debate or a court judgment.

  • 限制特权 Qualified privilege

某些对事情有义务报导的群众可以以这个理由抗辩。但是一旦被证实发表者怀有恶意,则不能以以此理由抗辩。

A person with a moral or social duty to make the publication does so and acts properly and free of malice.

  • 无辜传播者Innocent dissemination

无辜传播者,例如:卖书籍的商家不会知道某书籍可能存在诽谤发表。若存在,商家可以以无辜传播者为理由抗辩。

This defence is intended to protect innocent dissemination of publication such as booksellers, newsagents and internet service providers where they may be seen as publishing defamatory publication, without negligence on their part.

 

注意以下两种情况:

Two things to note:

  • 澳大利亚诽谤法只保护活人。如果往生者被诽谤,财产执行人没有权利通过法院对被告索求任何赔偿

Only a person who is alive is protected by the laws of defamation. An executor of the deceased’s estate cannot commence an action in defamation where the deceased is being defamed.

  • 公司(法人)不能成为诽谤受害者,除非全体公司员工不超过十人

A corporation cannot be a plaintiff to an action in defamation where it has more than 10 employees.

 

你在社交网站上转发的文章,或者文章下的评论,都可以被当作一个发表。请谨慎发言!

Sharing an article with defamatory statements can potentially lead you to become a second publisher. So be mindful of what you are sharing and commenting, especially on social media!

本文章目的仅仅是为大家普及一些基本的法律常识。并不适用于你个个人情况。如果想咨询更多,请联络我。

This article aims to provide you with very general legal information and cannot constitute legal advice to any tailored circumstance. If you wish to know more, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

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