Free press backwater: how to change the defamation laws that stifle Australian journalism – Richard Ackland

5 01 2019

Geoffrey Rush would have zero chance of securing a successful libel verdict if he sued in the United States over the “inappropriate behaviour” story. The same would apply to the cricketer Chris Gayle and the actor Craig McLachlan. Read the rest of this entry »





Your right to know: how Australia’s defamation law stifles public-interest journalism – Richard Ackland

2 01 2019

Charles Blondin (aka Jean François Gravelet) was a tightrope acrobat who reached peak fame when he successfully walked on a rope strung across Niagara gorge in 1859. The nerve-wracking trip was 340 metres long and the rope was set 49 metres above the waters below. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: A brief history of recent court suppression orders – Richard Ackland

30 12 2018

“Suppression” is the Australian media-law word for 2018 … Everyone wants to know more about what has been suppressed by the courts … Invariably the cat gets out of the bag … Latest suppression statistics Australia-wide … Are suppression orders sensible in the age of the internet?  Read the rest of this entry »





Australia’s defamation laws are ripe for overhaul – David Rolph

13 12 2018

David Ipp, the former judge and anti-corruption commissioner, once wrote that “defamation litigation is a fact of Australian life”. Whatever our self-perception may be that we are a laid-back people, many of us are swift to threaten defamation action. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Chris Gayle v Fairfax Media Publications & Ors (No. 2), A$300,000 in “holistic” damages – Stephen Murray

7 12 2018

A$300,000 in general damages assessed “holistically” over three defendants involving 28 articles … No aggravated damages … Finding of malice disregarded … Truth and qualified privilege defences defeated … Consideration of whether “reasonableness” should be a matter for the judge or the jury … Criticism of closing address by plaintiff’s counsel … Basis for attack on the reliability of defence witness’s testimony … Reasons why the defendants’ application for a jury discharge was dismissed  Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Jones & Australian Shareholder Centre PL v Aussie Networks PL & Eiby, Share trader’s defamation claims collapse – Justin Castelan

18 11 2018

The first defendant owned and ran an internet forum, Aussie Stock Forums, used to discuss topics related to the stock market and investments. The second defendant was its sole director and shareholder. He left a comment on the forum in response to a request for information about Australian Shareholder Centre PL (ASC), who, together with its owner, Mr Jones, ultimately sued him and the website owner for defamation, injurious falsehood and misleading or deceptive conduct in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Bolton v Stoltenberg, Facebook libel award of $100,000, An excess of unreasonableness – Stephen Murray

20 10 2018

Facebook attack on Mayor of Narrabri … $100,000 damages … Whether posts had been published … Extent of readership … Defences of common law and statutory qualified privilege rejected … No malice, just “stupidity, bias and carelessness” … Injunction … “Liking” is not the same as publishing a post … Stephen Murray reports. Read the rest of this entry »