Fair Comment

Legal Definition and Related Resources of Fair Comment

Meaning of Fair Comment

A defense to an action for libel . It is based upon the principle that every man has a right to comment on matters of public interest provided he does so fairly and honestly. Such a plea, however, is not available if a person acts maliciously. A form of qualified privilege applied to news media publications of matters which are of legitimate concern to the public as a whole. This privilege extends to expression of opinions and false statement of facts unless made with actual malice . Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. v church , 447 P.2d 840, 103 Ariz. 582.

Fair Comment Alternative Definition

A fair comment (excusing what would otherwise be a libel) is a comment which is either true, or which, if false, expresses the real opinion of its author (as to the existence of matter of fact, or otherwise), such opinion having been formed with a reasonable degree of care and on reasonable grounds. Steph. Cr. 202.

Related Entries of Fair Comment in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Fair Comment in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Fair Comment in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Fair Comment in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Fair Comment in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Rolled-up Plea.


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Fair Comment in the Dictionary Fair Comment in our legal dictionaries
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Related topics Fair Comment in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Fair Comment is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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English Legal System: Fair Comment

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Fair Comment : 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, can be fair comment. 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.







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