Defamation and social media expert lawyers. Best defamation solicitor

Internet Law Specialist Lawyers FREE CALL 0800 612 7211

Recently removed from the internet
What our clients say...
"Thank you and your team so very much for giving us our lives back."
“I would like to very deeply thank Yair, Louise and Adam for giving my family, in... Read More...
Contact our super friendly Social Media lawyers today!

Click HERE to Call Free for immediate help! 0800 612 7211

 

Every situation is different so by far the best way to find out how to respond to a social media legal issue is to speak to those who are most likely to have dealt with a situation similar to yours.
To find out how you can improve your reputation on the internet simply select one of the easy methods of contacting us.

 
Please use the form below to contact us.
We will respond as soon as possible.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Or you can call us on our free hotline.

FREEPHONE  0800 612 7211

(+) 44 207 183 4 123 from outside the UK.

Or if you prefer you can email us to helpline (at) CohenDavis.co.uk.

TheInternet LawCentre

Chase Levels in defamation cases

Chase Levels in defamation cases

Explanation of Chase Levels

Chase Levels are a useful tool for determining the degree of defamatory meaning or imputation in a statement, but they should not be considered the be-all and end-all when it comes to this analysis.

What are the different Chase Levels in defamation cases

Example of a Chase Level court hearing

What is a "meaning hearing" in defamation cases

Where did the term Chase Levels come from

Are there only 3 Chase Levels

What are the different Chase Levels in defamation cases?

Chase Levels 1, 2 and 3 in defamation cases refer to the three points levels of defamatory meanings that were identified by the court. At Chase Level 1, the claimant is seen as being guilty or liable for the alleged act. This is the most severe level, as the claimant is viewed as having committed the act with certainty. At Chase Level 2, there is reasonable ground to suspect that the claimant has committed the act.

This does not mean that the claimant is seen as being guilty, but rather that there is enough evidence to initiate further investigation. Lastly, at Chase Level 3, there is probable cause to investigate the claimant's guilt. The courts recognise these levels of meaning as distinct and valid legal standards, which has implications for the standards of proof necessary in defamation cases. The courts must determine whether a claimant has been defamed under one of these three levels of meaning in order to properly adjudicate a case.

Chase Levels Legal Advice FAQ

Chase Levels, established in the legal realm, categorize the severity of defamatory meanings in statements. Chase Level 1 implies direct guilt or liability for an alleged act, indicating the strongest accusation. Level 2 suggests reasonable grounds to suspect involvement in the alleged act, implying suspicion rather than certainty. Chase Level 3 indicates grounds for investigation, suggesting a need for further inquiry but no direct accusation. These levels assist in determining the specific nature of the defamation involved.

Courts undertake a "meaning hearing" to objectively determine how a reasonable reader might interpret a statement, considering its natural and ordinary meaning within context. This process involves analyzing the words, their context, and the overall purpose of the communication, aiming to establish the single, most likely meaning perceived by an average reader. This interpretation is crucial in defamation cases to accurately assess the statement's impact on the claimant's reputation.

The concept of Chase Levels originated from the case of Chase v News Group Newspapers Ltd (2002), which outlined three distinct levels of defamatory meaning. These levels help in legal analysis by categorizing statements based on their implication of guilt or suspicion regarding the claimant. This framework has since become a fundamental part of assessing defamation claims, clarifying the extent of reputational damage or accusation conveyed by a statement.

While Chase Levels provide a structured approach to assess defamation, they aren't exhaustive in determining a statement's defamatory nature. Defamation analysis also requires considering the broader context, the intention behind the statement, and its potential impact on the claimant's reputation. Legal professionals often look beyond Chase Levels to a comprehensive evaluation of all circumstances surrounding the defamation claim, ensuring a fair and accurate judgment.

Example of a Chase Level court hearing

What is a "meaning hearing" in defamation cases

In a meaning hearing, the court's task is to assess the reasonable interpretation of the words given by the hypothetical reader. This interpretation should be derived objectively and should be based on the natural understanding of the words and their context. The court will consider the context of the words, including their surrounding words, the purpose of the writing, and the context of the entire document.

The court will then establish the single natural meaning of the words that the hypothetical reader would understand, and use this meaning to make their decision. This evidence-based approach is necessary to ensure that the court is accurately interpreting the words and that the decision being made is reasonable and fair.

Where did the term Chase Levels come from

The court identified three levels of defamatory meanings, now known as the Chase Levels, in the case of Chase v Desormeaux (1986). Level 1 means that the claimant is found guilty or liable for the alleged act. Level 2 means that reasonable grounds exist to suspect the claimant of the act. Level 3 means that there is probable cause to investigate the claimant's guilt. These three Levels are important to consider when determining if a statement is defamatory or not.

The level of defamatory meaning must be taken into account to determine if a statement is defamatory or not. This is important to consider in order to ensure that the statement is not libellous or slanderous.

Are there only 3 Chase Levels

Chase Levels are a measure used to determine the level of defamation present in a statement or communication. While they are a useful tool in assessing the extent of defamation, they do not provide a conclusive answer as to the degree of defamatory meaning or imputation present.

This is because there are a variety of factors to consider when making such an assessment and the Chase Levels do not take these factors into account. In addition, there is a "grey area" between the two Chase Levels, making it difficult to make an accurate determination. It is therefore important to take all of the relevant factors into account when assessing the level of defamation present in any statement or communication.

Search the entire site
 

a flat out uncond

Signature cases

Our work featured on

Latest Articles

Explore this topic!

Online defamation