A critique of the legal framework governing defamatory conduct in Zambia
Moonga, Mazuba M.
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Owing to the increased exercise of the right to expression by the general public, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of defamation cases before the Courts of law. Therefore, there is need to put in place a legal framework that will adequately govern defamatory conduct in Zambia.This dissertation focused on criticizing the legal framework governing defamatory conduct in Zambia. It examined whether the current legal framework adequately and effectively governs defamatory conduct as it currently prevails in Zambia. The study methodology was based on the use of secondary sources, evaluation of other academic materials and the analysis of questionnaire responses by respondents from different media institutions, lawyers and the legislature.The dissertation established that defamatory conduct in Zambia is divided into civil defamation and criminal defamation. The legal regime governing civil defamation is the Defamation Act and the principles of common law in relation to defamation whereas the legal regime governing criminal defamation is section 69 of the Penal Code.The dissertation further examined the legal regime in respect of civil defamation and criminal defamation in Zambia separately. This was done through the use of comparison with common law principle on defamation and the position of criminal defamation in other jurisdictions namely the United States of America, France and Ghana respectively. Through this, it was established that the current legal framework governing defamatory conduct in Zambia, does not adequately govern defamatory conduct in Zambia. In view of the shortcomings of the legal framework governing defamatory conduct in Zambia, the dissertation made recommendation to the effect that there should be legislative reforms to the legal framework in order to enable it to adequately maintain the balance between ones right to freedom of expression and another persons' right to reputation.
- Law