Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reputation and Defamation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lawrence McNamara

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231454.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

The Development of the Common Law Actions

The Development of the Common Law Actions

Chapter:
(p.81) 4 The Development of the Common Law Actions
Source:
Reputation and Defamation
Author(s):

Lawrence McNamara

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231454.003.0005

This chapter explains how and why the common law approached the actionability of words as it did. At first, only certain forms of words were actionable and these were neither connected nor underpinned by any clear conceptual or doctrinal rationale. Later, influenced by the Star Chamber's criminal libel laws, the action for written defamation became more broadly based and was founded upon a generalized principle that made damage to reputation actionable. This shift marked the birth of modern defamation law because it sat within the intellectual framework of Enlightenment philosophy and science. In the 19th century treatises, there is a new claim that the common law protected reputation and there are attempts to derive general statements of legal principle from the disparate body of cases. These developments were to have a profound influence on the shape of the modern common law and its relationship to the protection of reputation.

Keywords:   disease, Star Chamber, criminal libel, libellis famosis, slander, Starkie, scientific method, defamation treatises

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .