Matura-Shepherd Says PM May Not Lose Anything Over Hulse’s Comments

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Updated: June 23, 2015

According to attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, will have to prove to the court what of damages he has lost by way of the recording being published.

AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD

“Now, reputation is a key issue when you want to prove slander or libel; it has to show that the person’s reputation has been affected; and just as a little guidance I’ll read out of the book from the Commonwealth Caribbean Court Law by Gilbert Kodilinye.  On his chapter 10 on the issue of defamation and libel and it’s very brief, it says, “when you have libel and slander one of the things you seek is damage. Since libel is actionable per se the law presumes that damage has been caused to the plaintiff’s reputation and he will be awarded general damages by way of compensation in any event. If he can prove that he has suffered any actual loss he will be awarded a further sum as special damage. In slander on the other hand the plaintiff has no cause of action unless he can show he has suffered actual loss, meaning temporal or material loss; for example, that as a consequence of the defamatory statement he has been dismissed from his employment or that he has been refused credit by a bank and that is why I say for the Prime Minister this comes under slander and he would have to prove what loss he has suffered. Did he lose any credit with the bank, did he lose his job? So, it’s not just something that just happens; the mere loss of consortium of friends or associates is insufficient, so you need to understand that there is a distinction between libel and slander and this goes back all the way to our historical involvement in the Common Law with the British System that we inherited.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“Would you say that he can claim any damages?  Do you feel that he will lose anything because of this recording?”

AUDREY MATURA-SHEPHERD

“You know what’s so ironic,  don’t think he will actually lose anything because if you look at what has happened in recent time, Mr. Castro has been dragged through the coals about all kinds of things that have come up against him even when he went to court the reports that came out of court were that he didn’t stand well in how he gave testimony but yet he was voted back in as standard bearer. Our people don’t seem to matter over that so it would be very difficult for the Prime Minister to claim that he has lost any reputation because clearly the people in this country don’t seem to bother on whether or not they seem to have a bad reputation. It’s like they just go with whatever so I don’t know what lose he would suffer.”