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.
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