Slander of Women Act 1891: Wikis

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The Slander of Women Act 1891[1]
UK Government Coat of Arms
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Long title: An Act to amend the Law relating to the Slander of Women
Statute book chapter: 54 & 55 Vict. c.51
Territorial extent: England and Wales and Northern Ireland[2]
Dates
Date of Royal Assent: 5 August 1891
Commencement: 5 August 1891[3]
Status: Current legislation
Official text of the statute as amended and in force today within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database

The Slander of Women Act 1891 (54 & 55 Vict. c.51) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (as it then was).

Contents

Section 1

Slander imputing unchastity or adultery to a female is actionable per se

This section provides that in an action for slander ("words spoken an published"), brought by a female plaintiff in respect of words that impute unchastity or adultery to her, it is not necessary for her to allege or prove that she has suffered special damage.

"Unchastity"

This expression is not confined to unchastity with a man. To call a woman a "lesbian" is to impute "unchastity" to her.[4]

But a plaintiff may not recover more costs than damages unless there were reasonable grounds for bringing the action

However, the section then provides that in an action for slander made actionable by that section, a plaintiff may not be awarded more costs than damages, unless the judge certifies that "there was reasonable ground for bringing the action".

Republic of Ireland

This section has been replaced for the Republic of Ireland by section 16 of the Defamation Act 1961. The proviso has not been reproduced.

Section 2

This section provides that the Act may be cited as the Slander of Women Act 1891, and that it does not apply to Scotland.

Repeal

This Act was repealed[5] for the Republic of Ireland on 1 January 1962[6].

Parliamentary debates

References

  1. ^ This short title was conferred by the Slander of Women Act 1891, section 2
  2. ^ The Slander of Women Act 1891, section 2; the Act is presumed to extend to those parts of the United Kingdom because the contrary is not specified.
  3. ^ The Act came into force on the date of royal assent because the contrary was not specified
  4. ^ Kerr v. Kennedy [1942] 1 K.B. 409
  5. ^ The Defamation Act 1961, section 4 [1] and the first schedule [2]
  6. ^ The Defamation Act 1961, section 3(1) [3]

External links

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