Duhaime's Law Dictionary


In haec verba Definition:

Latin: verbatim.

Related Terms: Defamation

More properly rendered in hæc verba. and sometimes, just hæc verba.

Words which are verbatim.

A court would use this term to refer to evidence, for example, that was tendered to be in hæc verba. For example, in a slander action, one must reproduce the exact alleged defamatory words in haec verba.

In his work on defamation law, Raymond Brown wrote:

"The defendant is entitled to have clear understanding of the precise nature of the allegation.  The plaintiff must plead in haec verba the actual words published.  The exact words must be set out with reasonable certainty, clarity, particularity and precision.  Without the words, there is nothing to construe as defamatory."

At 108a of the reasons in Bell v. Intertan Canada, Justice MacLeod of the Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan wrote:

"Respondents object to the lack of specificity of the appellant's allegations. They assert that in order to state a cause of action for slander, the plaintiff must make her allegations in haec verba, or in the exact words alleged to be defamatory."

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