What are the difference between libel and slander?
[Law of Torts] – There are the following three points of difference between a libel and a slander.
(1) A libel is defamation in some permanent form, e.g., a written or a printed defamation. A slander is defamation in a transient form, e.g., spoken words and gestures.
(2) At common law a libel is a criminal offence as well as a civil wrong, but a slander is a civil wrong only; though the words may happen to come within the criminal law as being blasphemous, seditious, or obscene, or as being a solicitation to commit a crime or as being a contempt of Court.
(3) A libel is of itself an infringement of a right and no actual damage need be proved in order to sustain an action. At common law, a slander is actionable only when special damage can be proved to have been its natural consequences, or when it conveys certain imputations. An action may be maintained for defamatory words reduced into writing, which would not have been actionable if merely spoken.