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 »

Scottish defamation reform stuck in the thistles – Nick Bonyhady

18 10 2018

Lukewarm response to Scottish Law Reform Commission’s report on defamation reform … Little movement … Not enough libelling going on … Defamation case against former leader splits the Scottish Labour Party … Homophobia collides with independence for Scotland … Nick Bonyhady reports. Read the rest of this entry »

Australia: the public interest backwater – David Rolph

5 09 2018

The UK, Canada, and New Zealand have developed a broader qualified privilege public interest defence … Australia lags in this development, although there are special local impediments … Durie v Gardiner in NZ holds there is nothing special about government or political speech that should not be applied to the protection of all speech … Waiting for the proper case in Australia … Professor David Rolph comments. Read the rest of this entry »

Reputation beyond Defamation – David Rolph

13 08 2018

The common law has long protected reputation very highly. The principal means by which it has done this is the tort of defamation. Justice Hallett in Foaminol Laboratories Ltd v British Artid Plastics Ltd ([1941] 2 All ER 393) famously remarked that “a claim for mere loss of reputation is the proper subject of an action for defamation and cannot ordinarily be sustained by means of any other form of action”. Read the rest of this entry »

Book review: Online Publication Claims: A Practical Guide – Judith Gibson

30 11 2017

Just how useful is the recent UK book Online Publication Claims: A Practical Guide? NSW District Court Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson examines the detail and finds much to recommend, just in time for Christmas, and beyond.

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Australia, Gayle v Fairfax, a not so surprising verdict – Graham Hryce

3 11 2017

When world views collide … As the fallout continues from the jury verdict in Chris Gayle’s defamation trial against Fairfax, media lawyer Graham Hryce suggests why it’s not so surprising that the media company went down. Read the rest of this entry »

Google v Duffy, No clear result in law applying to search engines – David Rolph

15 10 2017

The long-awaited decision from SA’s Full Supreme Court does little to clarify the perplexing issue of how a search engine is liable for defamation, writes Sydney University media law academic Professor David Rolph … The judgment raises more questions than it answers in relation to publication, intention and knowledge

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