Defamation in Singapore - Legal Advice from Farallon Law

Defamation in Singapore

Defamation in Singapore

Defamation is a statement that injures a third party’s reputation.

The tort of defamation includes both libel (written statements) and slander (spoken statements).


How to Successfully Sue for Defamation

To win a defamation case, a plaintiff must show four things:

    • a false statement purporting to be fact;
    • publication or communication of that statement to a third person;
    • fault; and
    • damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is subject of the statement.


Proof of Damages

In a claim for libel, damage is presumed to have occurred and it is not necessary for the plaintiff to prove any actual damage to his reputation. In slander, however, damage is generally not presumed and therefore slander is not actionable per se unless the plaintiff can show that he has suffered actual damage. This in many instances is usually extremely difficult to prove. There are four exceptions to the rule that slander is not actionable per se. These are:

    • where the words impute a crime for which the punishment that the plaintiff may be subject to is physical in nature, for example, imprisonment;
    • where the words impute to the plaintiff a contagious or infectious disease;
    • where the words are calculated to disparage the plaintiff in any office, profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of publication; and
    • where the words impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl.


Quantification of Damages

In assessing the appropriate damages to be awarded on a case of defamation, the following factors should be taken into consideration:

    • the nature of the defamation;


    • the standing of the parties;


    • the mode and extent of publication of the defamatory statements;


    • the conduct of the parties; and


    • the effect of the defamation on the plaintiff


If you have been defamed, you need to consult a lawyer to advise you on your options to recover damages, and/or put a stop to the defamatory actions to protect you or your business reputation.

Please contact us to arrange for a confidential discussion on your legal options.

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See our other article on Facebook and Social Media Defamation in Singapore