Resource Round-up: Defamation

Defamation is communication about a person that hurts their reputation. Defamation can be written (called libel) or spoken (called slander). Today, we’re bringing together a few resources about what defamation is and what people can do about it.  

People’s Law School has a number of pages about defamation:  

Defamation: Libel and slander

  • This page provides answers to common questions about defamation, including what it is, what kind of communication constitutes defamation, and what you can do about it.  

If you’ve been accused of defamation and Defamation: If someone hurts your reputation 

  • These two Work-It-Out pages provide introductions to both sides of the topic, including outlining various defences that can be used with a defamation claim. They then give step by step guides to dealing with a claim of defamation for both sides of the issue.  

Related resources from People’s Law School:  

Also check out People’s Law School’s webinar on the topic, in which a lawyer answers common questions about defamation. 

When dealing with defamation, people may decide to pursue legal action. Defamation lawsuits must be brought in the BC Supreme Court within two years of the defamatory statements. The Supreme Court may award damages for loss of reputation. Damages can be awarded on a spectrum from minor harm with a small audience to serious harm with a larger audience.  

Clicklaw has a few Common Questions that could be helpful for those going to Supreme Court:  

For people looking to represent themselves in court without a lawyer, you can point them toward the Supreme Court Guidebooks which walk through the whole process at Supreme Court, from start to finish. 

Each guidebook is in PDF format and can be easily downloaded and printed for patrons. Many of the guidebooks also feature examples of the court forms with instructions for filling them out, which can be very helpful for patrons with questions about forms. These guidebooks can also be found on the Supreme Court BC Online Help Guide

Have patrons asking for court form help? Refer to our guide on Helping Patrons with Court Forms

Looking for other court resources? Check out this infographic from Clicklaw for more information on going to court and links to helpful resources. 

Need something a bit more complex on defamation? Feel free to refer patrons to us or get in touch with us directly! CLBC’s reference services are available Mon-Fri from 9-4. You can get in touch with us through our email reference at or through our toll-free line 1-800-665-2570. You can also refer patrons directly to our branches – to see which branch is nearest you and their hours of operations, check out our website