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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a question regarding feasibility of defamation

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have a question regarding feasibility of defamation of character law suite.
I am a Professional Doctorate in Fine Art student. I have three MA degrees, including one from the very top universities. My programme leader at the current school keeps saying to other people that I am confused and confusing (basically spreading false information). It interferes with the normal process of my work and study. Can I sue her for defamation of character?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What is the specific defamatory statement? Being confused would not be defamation alone.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Being confused in my case is defamatory, as she claims that 'nobody' understands what I am saying, when I am talking about my concepts. I have not heard anything like this in my life and never had any problems with people understanding my ideas. She is the one and only, but she is a Programme Leader, and she influences my supervisors, with whom I haven't had any problems in communication before, but suddenly I hear them repeating her words
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, she may be wrong.
But what is the defamation? The test is 'serious damage' to your reputation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. So you are saying that I don't have feasible case here? And I should just ignore the toxic situation she has created?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
..and what does constitute 'serious damage'?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will over £10000 that I will be required to pay for extra year in the programme (which she suggests) considered a serious damage?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I would recommend a defamation action on that basis.
That is not to say you cannot make internal complaints about her allegation. She may well be wrong and it may be damaging.
However, the new Defamation Act is quite clear. You will find it here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/26/section/1/enacted
It demands 'serious harm'. I can see that this might be damaging but it doesn't really get over the hurdle of serious harm. A good example would include something like an allegation of sexual misconduct that is so destructive that it doesn't really matter whether there is evidence to support it or not.
You could get a solicitor to write to her warning her of the laws of defamation. That would cost about £100 plus VAT and is often very effective.
Given the cost of a defamation action though I wouldn't take this action on one allegation alone of this nature.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Why have you had to pay £10k?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Because based on her fabricated 'you are so confused', she suggests I stay for one more year in the Programme.
I am making internal complain, I just wanted to see what other options I may have. Because I think she is abusing her power. And based on the way she is doing it, I can see that it is not the first time in her career. Well Jo, thank you for your advice anyway.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
A complaint is still a better option.
She will only rely on fair comment and public interest and they are very hard defences to knock down.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not in business of questioning her motives, as I am not her shrink, but I question her professionalism and believe she completely overstepped her boundaries. She also lied on record and it is easily provable (I have the papers to prove it). But, I guess you are right, I should try the internal complaint first. Maybe it will solve this Kafkian nightmare. Thank you Jo.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks! I will keep your contact details. :) Best wishes!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
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