Welcome to Barbados Underground blog or the abbreviated BU. We intend to focus on the news which does not usually make it through to the traditional Press because of the strange liable/slander laws which currently exist in Barbados. Given the recent assault on the Barbados media it behooves each and every Barbadian to “speak-out.” Many of the articles posted will be the opinions of my wife and me, which have been influenced by our experiences derived from observation of our society and the interaction with many people both past and current.  We seek to stimulate discussion and at times, we expect that discussions may become robust but that is ok because Barbadians are not known for speaking out.  We will be seeking to join others who have resorted to the Internet to join the fight to protect our democracy that we hold so dear.

3 responses to “Welcome

  1. Hi BU:

    We do not have any “very old” slander laws in Barbados.

    The Defamation Act was proclaimed in 1996 and it provides what appear to be adequate defences against accusations of slander or defamation. It is also a relatively easy read.

    The problem may be that too many publishers are advised to settle out of court rather than use the defence provisions of the act.

    I am not disputing other consequences of speaking “out”; but let us stop blaming “old slander laws”. I would recommend that you obtain a copy of the document from the Government Printery, read it, and stay within the protection of the law.



  2. Hi Researching

    I am no lawyer but try as I might the wording of the Defamation Act 1999 may be new but the language looks old to me. Maybe a lawyer can shed some light. I have uploaded the Act for information.



  3. Hi David:

    I am not a lawyer, but you can read the following:

    1. Section 6 provides the first defence where “the person defamed was not likely to sufer harm to his reputation”.

    2. Section 7 provides the second defence called the “defence of truth.” It is to be used if it is proved to be true and if it does not materially injure the plaintiff’s reputation.

    3. Section 8 provides the defence of fair comment on matters of public interest.

    The first schedule then provides a list of categories of reports and statements that are protected unless the publication was motivated by malice.

    Therefore if you are providing fair and balanced comment, not materially injuring a person’s reputation, and can prove what you are reporting, then all should be well. However, you should read the act for yourself and then be guided by a competent legal opinion on the act, specifically the definition of “materially”.