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require response to hearsay

To require response to hearsay is usually considered abusive in any legitimate due process applied to anyone who is not a public figure or seeking to become one. For those that are, hearsay that is relevant to their execution of power in positions of trust is relevant if only because it is heard. However, it cannot be permitted to over-ride the facts of the matter, actual prima facie evidence, or eyewitnesses.

British Commonwealth courts have repeatedly held that it is not libel to publish and thus invite or require response to hearsay regarding a public figure executing their public role or position in an entity with an important public responsibility (such as a nonprofit organization or political party). Attempts to suppress hearsay by such figures is thus usually seen as libel chill. That said, hearsay is often abused in nonprofit organizations:

To permit hearsay? against less prominent figures to become a means of defacto smear campaigning is common in immature organizations. Those that also, unwisely, permit an issue to be raised and decided in the same meeting, will inevitably fall prey to groupthink as unverified hearsay must be used to make the decision. For an obvious example see the case of a suspension of elected Councillor of a political party. Such events are precluded by such mechanisms as the agenda protocol.


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