Some defendants are protected from liability in a defamation action based on the defendant’s position or status. These privileges are referred to as absolute privileges and may also be considered immunities. In other words, the defense is not conditioned on the nature of the statement or upon the intent of the actor in making a false statement. In recognizing these privileges, the law recognizes that certain officials should be shielded from liability in some instances.
Absolute privileges apply to the following proceedings and circumstances: (1) judicial proceedings; (2) legislative proceedings; (3) some executive statements and publications; (4) publications between spouses; and (5) publications required by law.