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An Analysis of the Economic Torts$
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Hazel Carty

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546749.001.0001

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Malicious Falsehood

Malicious Falsehood

(p.200) 10 Malicious Falsehood
An Analysis of the Economic Torts

Hazel Carty

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the history and ingredients of the tort of malicious falsehood. It would appear that the tort though developed from a group of related torts should now be viewed as unified in principle and application. The key ingredient is malice and the chapter explores the different meanings of this concept, though noting that the typical case will involve denigration or disparagement. This tort is of limited use and is largely overshadowed by statutory provisions relating to ‘threats’ and comparative advertising. The important issue of free speech has shaped this tort and confined its application is also debated. Finally, the relationship of this tort to the unlawful means tort and the torts of defamation and passing off is analysed.

Keywords:   malicious falsehood, malice, denigration, disparagement, threats, comparative advertising, unlawful means tort, defamation, passing off

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