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TITLE Supreme Court Decision 2018Do4200 Decided June 15, 2018【Defamation】 * First draft [full Text]
Summary
[1] Requirements to establish defamation
In the event that a statement or a remark about another person was made causing damage to that person’s reputation during the process of verifying a scandalous rumor, whether in such case intent of defamation may be recognizable (negative)
[2] Meaning of “published or publicly made available,” one of the constituent elements of defamation
Where “published or publicly made available” is acknowledged as an element to establish defamation on the ground that publicly alleged facts tend to rapidly and widely spread, method of determining the substance and existence of intent as a subjective constituent element
[3] In a case where the Defendant who is a mart operator: (a) asked to see Party A, an employee of a company that supplies ice cream products to the Defendant’s mart; (b) made false remarks by saying, “I heard that other suppliers pay a fee to have their products displayed on racks. How much did your employer pay? Party B (Defendant’s store manager) pocketed cash payments from several suppliers and is currently under investigation.”; and (c) was indicted on the charge of defaming Party B, the case holding that the lower judgment convicting the Defendant is erroneous as it was based on a misapprehension of the legal doctrine on the constituent elements of defamation (i.e., intent, published or publicly made available)
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