Tort Lawspace Defamation


Israeli libel law is dealt with in the framework of the Defamation Act 1965.
Under the law, any publication that could ridicule or disparage a person, or harm him professionally or in the workplace is considered defamatory. Actual damage does not have to be proven and the courts could award up to 50,000 nis with no proof of damage. If the court finds that the publication was done in order to do harm to the subject it may award up to 100,000 nis. Defamation is also a criminal offense if published with intent to harm. Truth is not an absolute defense and must be coupled with a public interest. Other defenses include if the publication was done in good faith and one of the following 1) there was a duty to publicize 2) it was done to protect a legitimate personal interest 3) criticism of an artistic, scientific, or other work.
Public figures are more open to critical publications than private persons since they have more access to the media, which allows them to respond to publications and since the public has in interest in them. The court may award up to NIS 50,000 without proof of actual damage. If the court finds that the defamation was published with intent to harm, it may award double that sum. 
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