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Once the plaintiff establishes that defamatory material which identifies them has been published by the defendant, certain presumptions arise.

It is presumed that the plaintiff suffered harm. At common law, a plaintiff alleging slander (oral defamation) was required to establish ‘special damage’ (that is, monetary loss). However, section 9 of the Act makes defamation actionable without proof of financial loss.

It is presumed that the plaintiff is of ‘good reputation’. It is for the defence to establish bad reputation, if it relies upon it.

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