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Right of Reply

Jae-Jin Lee


One of the fundamental goals of a legal system is to establish standards in reconciling competing social interests by weighing their relative values in a society. The same is applied to a society's libel laws, which provide a peaceful means for individuals to obtain vindication and compensation for their reputational harm and related losses. Therefore, libel laws furnish judicial remedies, based on such legislative acts as civil codes or press laws, to individuals whose reputational interests have been violated by the media in disseminating news (→  Libel and Slander ). This is especially true of those countries where the right of reply is recognized as a way to resolve the conflicts between protection of reputation and freedom of the press (→  Right of Correction ). The right of reply is a statutory right for a defamed person to respond to the precipitating libelous publication. It affords the defamed an opportunity to use the same amount of space or time as the original libelous article. It provides relief in libel litigation that awards an equalizing opportunity for publication or broadcast of a counterclaim in the same medium in which a defamatory remark was published about an individual. The right of reply can also be a means for those who seek access to the mass media to disseminate their views in opposition to statements previously broadcast or published (→  Access to the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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