This chapter addresses the issue of public speech, specifically how to distinguish public speech from private speech. The chapter proceeds as follows. Part B discusses important areas of the law of defamation. The law of privacy provides assistance, more especially, the contours of the public interest defence to claims for disclosure of private facts. This is treated in Part C, where the English breach of confidence action is particularly apposite as it relates to the misuse of private information, although the position in South Africa, Australia, and the USA is also adverted to. The threads of this analysis are drawn together in Part D. It is argued that public speech includes but is not limited to political speech, and that the important factors to consider in delineating such speech are the status of the claimant, the content of the speech, and the context of the publication.
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