Business/commercial law essay question and answer

The “Harbinger,” a newspaper of wide circulation recently published an educational article in one part of its columns “the close structural resemblance between man and the gorilla.” It illustrated the point two photographs. One was a man in a wrestling pose with the caption “Hamisi Nduati not fundamentally different from the gorilla in physique.” Mr. Hamisi Nduati has realized that the photograph was taken in one of his wrestling contests which he won. He alleges that he enjoys international reputation as an outstanding wrestler and he therefore argues that he has been defamed. He comes to you for legal advice.

Advise him.

ANSWER
• This problem is based on the tort of defamation with specific reference to libel.

• In this case, it is apparent that Hamisi Nduati has not been defamed the article and caption in “The Harbinger.”

• This is because the article in question was educational in character and only uses Hamisi Nduati‟s photograph to illustrate a scientific point. In any event an ordinary person reading the article and the caption would not discern a defamatory intention.

• At the very most Hamisi Nduati can only argue that he has been abused “The Harbinger” for which he has no actionable claim.

• My advise to Hamisi Nduati is that he has no action for defamation.

• My advise is based on interalia the absence of the perquisites for defamation.



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