Defamation Laws In The Bahamas
The Bahamas Recognizes Two Types of Defamation – Negligent and Intentional
Article 315 of the Bahamian Penal Code defines two types of defamation – negligent and intentional. If found guilty of libel or slander, individuals in The Bahamas can be sentenced to between six months and two years in jail.
Public Office Holders Enjoy Greater Protections Under Bahamian Defamation Statutes
Public office holders are protected under Article 317 of the statutes.
“Matter is defamatory which imputes to a person any crime or misconduct in any public office, or which is likely to injure him in his occupation, calling or office or to expose him to general hatred, contempt or ridicule.”
In other words, under the laws of Bahamas’ land, if a public official files a defamation lawsuit against the a journalist or private citizen, the defendant is presumed to be guilty until they can prove the published material to be true, and the jury determines that the material was of public interest and therefore worthy of publication.