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Urgent defamation injunction to prevent publication of defamation
If you are aware of defamatory posts about you on the internet, you might be able to seek an urgent defamation injunction.
Yes. Under English law, it is extremely difficult to obtain an emergency injunction prior to the publication of defamatory posts, news articles or television programs. The view that the court is currently taking in relation to granting urgent defamation injunctions prior to publication, is that emergency injunctions prior to publication will only be granted under very exceptional circumstances. The reason for this is that the courts consider that damage to reputation is something that can be fixed by way of payment of damages, an apology, or other form of public vindication.
The courts consider that because reputation could be repaired, it is important to give priority to free press. This position is considerably unfair, and particularly discriminates against those who might not be able to afford to take legal action for defamation once their reputation had been tarnished. Often tarnished reputation could result in a significant financial downturn for the prison or organisation being defamed and, in some cases, once the publication of the defamatory material has taken place, there is little the defamed can do to turn the wheels back.
However, it is not impossible to obtain an injunction for defamation prior to publication particularly if there are other grounds for the court to grant the emergency injunction, for example, if the case involves a breach of privacy or blackmail. We will consider each case on its own merits prior to advising you on the prospects of getting an urgent defamation injunction prior to publication.
Yes. It is possible to obtain an interim injunction shortly after the publication of the defamatory material. Where the defamatory allegations are serious, particularly alleging criminal misconduct, you can apply for an interim injunction soon after the publication of the defamatory material and ask the court to grant you an emergency defamation injunction pending trial.
There will be an emergency hearing where the publisher of the defamation will be required to identify the extent to which he proposes and intends to justify the claims they are making. If the publisher of the defamatory material statement is unable to do so, at that point in time, in the face of very clear denials by yourself, you will be likely to be granted an emergency injunction pending a trial.
In cases where there are other causes of action, such as breach of privacy or blackmail, we can obtain a privacy injunction within hours of being instructed. However, to be on the safe side, if you suspect that a defamatory publication is likely to take place, we urge you to give us your instructions as soon as possible so that we can take preparatory steps which will make your emergency defamation injunction more likely to be granted by the court.
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