This appeal concerns the dichotic relationship between two fundamental rights: freedom of expression and protection of reputation. It raises issues as to the meaning of the word “defamatory” and the nature of an action for defamation.
The facts can be stated quite concisely. The Plaintiff/Respondent, Benjamin Kwasi Duffour, (to be referred to hereafter simply as the “Respondent”), was an employee of the Bank of Ghana (1st Defendant in the suit at the trial court), and also at all material times, the Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of the Bank. The 2nd Defendant/Appellant, Graphic Communication Group Ltd, (also to be referred to simply as the “Appellant”), are the publishers and owners of one of the leading daily newspapers, the “Daily Graphic”.
In the issue of the Daily Graphic of Monday June 30, 2008, there was a headline on the front page, to wit “Bank of Ghana dismisses two trade union leaders”. The main story was published on page 24 of the newspaper,…