Defamation Law definition

Defamation law defines remarks that may hurt someone's reputation. Because of the potential for personal injury, it has recently become more ethical than legal. That has been seen in the media business, when journalists are conducting sensitive research on something or someone. The knowledge they provide has two outcomes: it benefits either the person being investigated or the journalists themselves. Certain material must remain confidential owing to ethical considerations since it causes harm to the victim if it is made public. Defamation in most cases has a negative result to the individuals engaged which include the change of career and living a miserable life.

The connection between defamation, ethical and legal issues were clear from a case of a journalist who was supposed to disclose information in the court proceeding (Rolph 2016). The journalist by the name Mr. John had carried out an investigation concerning Mr. Alex concerning the source of his wealth. Mr. John had made a statement that Mr. Alex wealth was a result of drug trafficking when he was a civil servant. He added that the even after exiting from the government Mr. Alex has continued to be a beneficiary of the same drug trafficking (Hough et al. 2016). Varies scholar has explained ethical consideration in the field of law. Ethic is defined as the acceptable code of behaviour by a group of individual or the large society (Rolph 2016). Different people view ethic differently depending on individual approach and the outcomes of the ethical issues. For example, in a court of law, an individual may fail to disclose material facts due to the challenge the other party with suffering as a result. It does not matter the magnitude of the legal issue which resulted to the plaintiff or the complainants. If with case involved theft which would expose the other party to public bring problems with other peoples willing (Hough et al. 2016). The complainants may act ethically by failing to open the information directs to the law court. Although the facts remain, the person was theft the future harm has been cubed. On the same way if the judgments to be made by the court of law may cause more challenges both the victim and the other related parties, the judgments will focus on the suffering which will take place after that. The court will be forced to determine the case in an ethical manner rather than legal. In the court proceeding, Mr. John was to provide a direct evidence of the statements he had made earlier and the source of the data which can be used to prove the truth that Mr. Alex has been involved in drug selling. Mr. John situation remains a dilemma since disclosing the information expose him to a risk (Rolph 2016). The cost may cost him as an individual since the source of information was confidential; also, the cost to Mr. Alex to the general public point of view remains a difficult issue. At this point, the connection between ethical and legal issues are noted since Mr. John feels it would be better if he fails to disclose the information of which it was legal issues that had facilitated (Alcazar and Tsusa 2016). For a fair judgment to plaintiff Mr. Alex, the journalist was to offer the source and direct situations which provide clear evidence about the case.

In the above case, Mr. Alex could have served some ethical issues being a public figure. His well-known name being a civil servant could have deemed which lead to loss of confidence by the public from the sector he works on (Alcazar and Tsusa 2016). For example, being the chairperson of the water board and tribe leader the members would have felt it being unrealistic. Also, his overall performance would have been associated with illegal activities which are drug trafficking (Jacob et al. 2016). Personally, he could have felt being less motivated to live in a big house and driving an expensive vehicle. At this point, Mr. Alex may search for a better solution to dealing with the issue since it has more ethical harm than legal harm. After hearing the case presented, the court realised the impacts the case was holding (Habets et al. 2016). The fact remains that if the court acted legally by making the judgments from the acts involving theft, the public could have used the same information to accuse the governments of theft (Hough et al. 2016). Other parties would have enough materials to accuse the government's servants of public theft which is considered as public wrong. The fact remains that Mr. John realised the facts which were that Mr. Alex had committed a public theft but all the same providing that information means attracting other parties to make more research about the same case (Habets et al. 2016). It would be considered more legal than ethical. The teleological view is more concerned with having the know-how of the case and the consequences which will fall back. If the consequences have more negative impacts to the plaintiffs of the defendants, then it would mean acting ethically to bring goodness rather than bad. According to a group of involved researchers indicated that Mr. John had enough information on the defence and the following legal preceding which could have resulted from the case (Alcazar and Tsusa 2016). In their survey, they discovered that the larger community failed to have adequate information about legal issues as well as the ethical consideration which means the judges had a major role in determining the future of the parties involved.

According to Media entertainments art Alliance, the law court in all cost should consider emphases on confidentiality as respects to a human right. It means even if it got reliable information concerning theft it holds knowing its effects on the large society. If the journalist could have disclosed the information Mr. Alex fine by the court of the order would have affected him less compared with the ethical loss, he could have experienced (Alcazar and Tsusa 2016). On the other hand, Mr. John who was a defendant could have suffered too by providing the information which was needed by the court (Barendt 2017). Some of the risk attached to it was losing the job since the Media Company had indicated clearly that the journalist should filter what they offer to the public (Habets et al. 2016). Therefore the Media Company could have used that to resolve it ethical part of the issues (Lyles et al. 2017). In connection to this case, Mr. John requested the court of law to use an article in the law which state "for the welfare of the individual after the case judgments the court should make consideration to individuals to secure life." The court making consideration on Mr. John case is clear indication that defamation is more of ethical more than legal (Barendt 2017). The alternative route that the court advised John was to offer the information in secret platform to enable the court to perform its duty without harming the life of John. Mr. John accepting to disclose the information in secret chamber indicates that he was considering more of his ethical issues of his life more than the legal follow up (Middleton et al. 2017).

One of John advisers told him that the information he was holding would have resulted from him to win the case but all the same, it was sensitive. The sensitivity of the information was that it involved government's data which contained facts to prove to behold reasonable doubt. Disclosing their information means causing more harm to the mind of citizens (Barendt 2017). The ethical issues which were presented to the law court are holding the information about the public theft in a sensitive manner which keeps the public unaware since it would cause more harm than good (Rolph 2016). The greatest challenge is balancing the ethical issues and legal issues. Scholars noted that individuals with knowledge of ethical consideration and legal proceeding would cause harm to individuals without the knowledge of the two sides (Middleton et al. 2017). Acting more legally involves collecting all the necessary data and making verification of the facts to determine the case or to make the final judgments. On the other hand, acting ethically involves reasoning out the outcomes of proving the facts and the consequences which would follow the individual involved and the general public. If the facts are available and have fewer effects on both party legal issues would proceed but if the ethical consideration is more than legal issues it healthy to determine the judgments ethically (Middleton et al. 2017). Further research in defamation needs to be carried out to reveal the connection between legal and ethical consideration. According to with Judge Ann, Mr. John knew a half of the law concerning the defamation laws. Therefore, the law offered a privilege to him without a harsh fine. On the other hand, Mr. Alex was released to give the court enough time periods to survey and research on the source of wealth which is attached to him. On the same way, the law did not want to expose his life in danger from the information which was directly disclosed in the law court (Barendt 2017).


In conclusion, it is clear from the case of that Defamation which is a statement which hurts someone reputation and also considered civil wrong is more of ethical issues more than a legal issue. John had facts and adequate data about the public theft which was involved with Mr. Alex but realised the effects it would have caused him and the general public. Mr. Alex knew legal proceeding but less information about ethical consideration. The court of law acted ethically in the case presented to them to prove that defamation is considered more ethical than legal.


Alcazar, S. and Tsusa, S., 2016. Ethical/ Legal Issues- Decision Making. General Surgery Examination and Board Review.

Barendt, E., 2017. Defamation law.

Habets, M.G. et al., 2016. One size fits all?: Ethical considerations for examining efficacy in first-in-human pluripotent stem cell studies. Molecular therapy, 24(12), pp.2039-42.

Hough, M., Bradford, B., Jackson, J. and Quinton, P., 2016. Does Legitimacy Necessarily Tame Power? Some Ethical Issues in Training Procedural Justice Principles into Justice Policy.

Jacob, S., Decker, D.M. and N.M., L., 2016. Ethics and law for school psychologists. Wiley and Sons.

Lyles, C.R., Fruchterman, J., Youdelman, M. and Schillinger, D., 2017. Legal, Practical, and Ethical Considerations for Making Online Patient Portals Accessible for All. American Journal of Public Health., 107(10), pp.1608-11.

Lee, W.E., Middleton, K., and Stewart, D.R., 2017. The law of public communication. Tailor and Francis.

Rolph, D., 2016. Reputation, celebrity, and defamation law.

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