Slander of Women Act 1891
|Long title||An Act to amend the Law relating to the Slander of Women|
|Citation||54 & 55 Vict. c.51|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales and Ireland|
|Royal assent||5 August 1891|
|Commencement||5 August 1891|
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Text of the Slander of Women Act 1891 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk|
The Slander of Women Act 1891 (54 & 55 Vict. c.51) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (as it then was).
Slander imputing unchastity or adultery to a female
This section provides that in an action for slander ("words spoken and published"), brought by a female plaintiff in respect of words that impute unchastity or adultery to her, it is not necessary for her to allege or prove that she has suffered special damage.
The word "unchastity" is not confined to unchastity with a man. To call a woman a "lesbian" is to impute "unchastity" to her.
However, the section then provides that in an action for slander made actionable by that section, a plaintiff may not be awarded more costs than damages unless the judge certifies that "there was reasonable ground for bringing the action".
Republic of Ireland
This section provides that the Act may be cited as the Slander of Women Act 1891 and that it does not apply to Scotland.
- This short title was conferred by the Slander of Women Act 1891, section 2
- The Slander of Women Act 1891, section 2; the Act is presumed to extend to those parts of the United Kingdom because the contrary is not specified.
- The Act came into force on the date of royal assent because the contrary was not specified
- "Defamation Act 1961, section 3(1)". electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB). Government of Ireland. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- "Defamation Act 2013 aims to improve libel laws". BBC News Online. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- Kerr v. Kennedy  1 K.B. 409
- The Defamation Act 1961, section 4  and the first schedule 
- Brought into force by article 2 of the Defamation Act 2013 (Commencement) (England and Wales) Order 2013.