This is the sixteenth instalment in a regular series from Inforrm highlighting press and case reports of new media and information cases from around the world.  It is intended to complement our United States: Monthly Round Up posts.  Please let us know if there are other cases and jurisdictions which we should be covering.

In the Papers


The Guardian has an article focusing of defamation claims made by politicians in Australia and positing and exploring the fact that they are quick to sue.

A judge has ordered 12 media outlets to pay fine of up to AUS$450,000 for breaching gag orders by publishing references to Cardinal George Pell’s since-overturned convictions in 2018 for child sexual abuse. The Associated Press reports as does Reuters and the BBC.

Sky News is to launch a dedicated Australia News Channel- the Guardian reports. The channel is set to reach 7 million viewers after entering into free to air deals with Win and Southern Cross Austereo.

The Drum looks at the coverage of the Sydney Morning Herald in considering combating the polarisation of Australian news cycles.

With the enforcement of the Australia Media News Bargaining Code Google and Facebook could pay about $200m per year for media content, the Financial Times reports [£].


Canada and Ontario are investing in over 2.9m in a new digital media centre.

Hong Kong

Amid increasing restrictions on operations from the police the Guardian considers the defiant messaging coming from Hong Kong media outlets. This comes as media “tycoon” Jimmy Lai has received a 14-month jail term.

A Hong Kong court has postponed the trail of two media executives from the Apple Daily and Next Digital. They were detained on charges of endangering national security.


 A video of a violent assault of a Muslim man went viral on Twitter and, following coverage by media outlets, Indian police opened an investigation  into three Muslim journalists and three Muslim members of the opposition Congress party who had shared the video, along with Twitter and news site The Wire.

The Indian government has told social media firms to remove content referring to the Indian variant of covid-19 from their content.

New Zealand

Hackers who targeted hospitals in New Zealand’s Waikato district have released private patient data they have harvested to the media.

Hal Crawford, former Mediaworks head of news, has taken a look at mega-mergers in the media market and New Zealand’s position amidst the market movement.


Pakistan’s proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority ordinance has been criticised for being a “unconstitutional and draconian law”. The law has been criticised for alleged consolidating the Pakistani Government control over media outlets- a matter which has been explored by Foreign Policy. The Express Tribune also has a helpful explainer.


Alleged rough treatment of the media by left journalists outside during a Biden-Putin media summit.

In the Courts


Brennock & Dixon v Norman [2021] NSWSC 716 – a contempt of court case following a finding of defamation and the granting of an injunction in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Cook v Flaherty [2021] SASC 73 – an appeal to the Supreme Court of South Australia against a finding of defamation. The appeal concerns the plaintiff’s application for a liquor licence, his military services record and his fitness to serve on two council’s. The appeal was dismissed with costs.

Defertos v Google [2021] VSCA 167 – a defamation case in the Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal concerning allegations by the claimant, who was a criminal solicitor that the defendant made a number of defamatory allegations against them. Mr Defertos’s appeal was dismissed.

Dyer v Chrysanthou (No 2) (Injunction) [2021] FCA 641 – an injunction to restrain counsel from acting for a defendant in a defamation case.

New Zealand

Staples v Freeman [2021] NZHC 1308 – a defamation case in which Mr Freeman was found to be liable to Mr Staples for a defamatory series of Facebook posts.

This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.