Slander, libel, free speech and duels

A point of contention between libertarians concerns slander and libel. Those who insist on natural rights, say that these cannot be considered crime as they do not invade anyone's property. Indeed, other people's opinion of X is not X's property. On the other hand, consequentialists argue that slander and libel create actual and sometimes measurable damage to an individual or a corporation. However, we have no way to know if the person originating the slander and libel did actually harm X, no one knows what would have happened if he hadn't done it... maybe X, instead of staying home making phone calls to his lawyers would have stepped out and be hit by a car. Rule consequentialist will say that actual consequences don't matter but rather than forbidding libel and slander, as a rule, brings positive results. Then again, one could argue that slander and libel laws have often helped to muzzle the press, cover dirty politicians etc. Last some people will argue that no matter what, if the market wants law and enforcement against libel, they will be produced. However, the nature of information is such that it could originate from anywhere, under different jurisdictions.

Fortunately, I offer a compromise. But first, let's take a look at duel. The institution of duel is an interesting one. If someone is offended, he can request a duel with the offender. In some duels, life is at stake, in others, the loser bears a high social stigma. Refusing a duel also bears a huge stigma. This can seem puzzling at first, since the offended may have similar odds to have his offense repaired or to be offended even more. There is however a point in the duel. The outcome of the duel can be either slightly positive, even neutral or very negative, and it carries risk. No one really wants to be in a duel. Most people would be better of by deciding not to duel. However, if it is known one will go forward with a duel, against its best interest, it becomes dangerous to offend that person. Thus, people have an incentive in making sure everyone knows they will respond to offenses no matter what. They can limit their future choices by agreeing to receive social stigma if they don't go forward with duels, this incentive is used as a proof that you are ready to defend your honor. The duel itself is actually pointless, it's a random, arbitrary penalty whose sole purpose is to provide a disinsentive to offense.

No, I am not advocating a revival of duel, that was just a digression but it's somehow related. What I am suggesting is that some courts could deal with libel and slander without coercion that is on a purely voluntary basis. Let's say someone writes in the press that my company feeds babies to crocodiles. I can challenge him into the libel and slander court. He has two choices. Either he agrees to go to court or he doesn't. If he does, he'll have to prove that my company does actually feed babies to crocodiles or otherwise pay hefty damages. I could even put myself on the line: I'll pay you $200,000 for a $1M challenge at the slander & libel court. I risk something, the guys risks something but unlike duel, the good guy actually has more chances of winning. Now of course the bad guy can refuse to go to court, in which case, the court will widely publicize that fact. Refusing to be challenged in court would bring a lot of discredit and possibly bring higher damages than the possible reparations.

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Perhaps slander and libel

Perhaps slander and libel are not crimes against the person being slandered, but the person he's being slandered to. By propagating information the writer/speaker knows to be false, he is defrauding the reader/listener.

Only if he claims that this

Only if he claims that this information is guaranteed to be true, which is clearly not necessary to do so.
Saying I wonder if Stormy Dragon sells cloned human baby meat for a living for I think there are reasons to believe so. doesn't expose you to anything. Now in court I might be challenged to prove that this actually is the the truth.