Case Law, Australia: Raynor v Murray, Torrid times at the Watermark flats – Gabrielle Hunter

4 06 2019

In the case of Raynor v Murray ([2019] NSWDC 189) the District Court of NSW ordered Patricia Murray, a tenant of Manly residential flats known as “Watermark”, to pay damages of $120,000 to the chairman of the building’s strata committee for a defamatory email regarding an unlocked mailbox. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: O’Reilly v Edgar, Fact free Facebook Posts, $250,000 damages – Gabrielle Hunter

24 03 2019

In the case of O’Reilly v Edgar ([2019] QSC 24) the Supreme Court of Queensland awarded Kelvin O’Reilly, the CEO of a go-kart racing organisation, $270 658.71 in damages, including aggravated damages, for defamatory posts by a Facebook troll. Read the rest of this entry »





Defamation Reform in Australia: Rearranging the deckchairs – Judith Gibson

7 03 2019

The Council of Attorneys General Review of Model Defamation Discussion Paper was released on 25 February 2019. The Discussion Paper sets out a list of 18 questions, as a guide to the areas of interest to be discussed, and invites submissions, which are due by April 30, 2019. Read the rest of this entry »





Defamation Reform in Australia: Round One, Lots to discuss – Janek Drevikovsky

2 03 2019

On 26 February 2019 the Council of Attorneys General released a discussion paper on Australia’s defamation laws, part of the process of reforming the uniform national scheme. 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 »





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: 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 »