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Case Study on Libel Law and Invasion of Privacy


CaseStudy on Libel Law and Invasion of Privacy

CaseStudy on Libel Law and Invasion of Privacy

Thelibel law protects against defamation especially with the intentionof malice. The libel law protects people from defamatory utterancesby others, as this can hurt a person’s reputation. In the case ofFranklin, he could not prove the first element of libel against thereporter, the internet service provider, the newspaper or the editor.The first element requires Franklin to prove malice in thepublication of the article. Since he is a public figure, provingmalice would be difficult because he cannot prove that the articlewas published using false information and recklessness.

Theidentity of the person discussed by the newspaper article would alsobe difficult because Franklin was not the only general who served inAfghanistan and he acknowledged that he did not even know thatenhanced interrogation techniques were being used. Additionally,Franklin claimed that he did not authorize the use of advancedinterrogation techniques, yet the article claimed that the generalwho was discussed had authorized the use of advanced interrogationtechniques. According to the amendment by the bench of nine judges,public figures cannot file for defamation. Additionally, Franklincould not prove the falsification of information as advancedinterrogation methods were being used in Afghanistan.

Inthe case, Franklin would be considered a limited- purpose publicfigure as he had retired from the force. However, the information inquestion regarded his tenure as a public figure. Correct faultrequirement states that a plaintiff must prove that the defendant wasin a stable mental condition and that he understood his actions wouldcause harm. In this case, the defendant must take full responsibilityfor his actions. Franklin can prove that the reporter, editor,internet service provider and the media house were fully aware thatthe published information could harm his reputation. Franklin canprove that suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a privateaffair and thus, the reporter and the media house acted recklessly inpublishing such information as that was a private matter. Franklincan win by proving that he led the largest bastion in 2004 and thathe was now receiving PTSD treatment.

Thedefendants, on the other hand, can use past cases to win the case asprevious rulings have often protected the freedom of the media. Thedefendants can prove that there is no sufficient ground for provingthat the information published accurately fitted Franklin’s life.The defendants can argue that the information published involvedFranklin as an active public figure and that prior rulings havefavored the media when they publish information about public figures.However, this can be countered by arguing that Franklin is now aprivate citizen.

Franklincan win the case because he was living as a private citizen and thediscussion regarding his treatment for PTSD involved his life as aprivate citizen. Additionally, only a few members of his family andhis doctor were aware that he was suffering from PTSD and thus, therewas an intrusion of privacy since this was not public information.Additionally, Franklin can prove that despite the lack of names, theinformation published had sticking resemblance with his informationyet the newspaper, the reporter and the editor had no written consentfrom him to publish such information.

Franklinhas a chance to of winning the publication of private informationabout his treatment of PTSD. This is private information that isknown to a few close people to him and had no relationship with hisactive life as a general in Afghanistan. This is because Franklinstarted receiving treatment after he had left the force and startedliving as a private citizen. Any information regarding a person’slife after he left active public life and stopped living as a publicfigure is considered private and confidential. Additionally,activities in the bastions in Afghanistan are considered private andnewspapers must get authorization to publish such information.