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Whereas the crucial importance of freedom of expression/freedom of the press cannot be in dispute, some feel that the development of the "Reynolds defence", has gone too far in relegating the role of libel laws to a position of secondary importance

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  1. The principles applied in libel laws
  2. The Reynolds privilege and how it was apprehended in posterior jurisprudence
  3. What extent the Reynolds privilege is and its consequences

In most areas where the tort law exists, the concentration is mainly with regard to the protection of personal safety against harm caused by physical interference. The tort of defamation is however concerned with protecting the claimant from harm caused by harsh words (harm caused verbally). Defamation may be defined as ?the publication of a statement which tends to lower a person in the estimation of a right thinking person in general'. The judgment would be based on the question ?what would be the interpretation of the reasonable man upon the statement that is said to be defamatory.' English law is well versed in justice and has therefore, developed libel laws in order to provide protection of reputation. However, when considering this protection in an in depth manner, it should be remembered that the competing right to freedom of expression is also a protection by law. When a conflict arises between these two rights, the courts are expected to play a vital role by striking a balance between the right to protection of reputation and the right to freedom of speech.

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