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Interlocutory    September 18, 2017  
B1 v B2

Identities anonymised and imputations concealed in defamation proceedings involving a divorced couple, a custody battle and Facebook posts alleging domestic violence … NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson refers her judgment to the Family Court ... more

Damages    September 18, 2017   thumbnail
Sum Chow & Colin Chau v Chi Keong Un

Two Chinese plaintiffs have been awarded total damages of $160,000 over a “vituperative” and malicious leaflet indiscriminately handed out in Chinatown which accused them of criminal conduct … The defendant “knew he had no evidence” ... more

Interlocutory    September 15, 2017  
Rabbi Yosef Feldman v The Daily Beast Company LLC

NSW Supreme Court Defamation List Judge Lucy McCallum affirms her bold decision in Bleyer v Google Inc and sets aside another defamation action on the grounds of proportionality … The court “can, and should decline to determine a civil claim on the grounds of disproportionality” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 14, 2017   thumbnail
Costly case of celebrity aggravation

The record defamation damages awarded to Rebel Wilson constitutes “a very neat and effective way of bypassing the cap on damages”, says media lawyer Graham Hryce ... He also looks at the special damages and the massive cost – financial and otherwise – to Bauer Media ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 14, 2017  
Seriously limiting serious harm

The protection afforded defendants by the introduction of a “serious harm” threshold in defamation cases has been significantly eroded in a recent UK Court of Appeal judgment … Nicola Cain analyses the decision and its consequences ... more

Damages    September 13, 2017   thumbnail
Rebel Wilson v Bauer Media Pty Ltd

Highest defamation damages in Australian history … Comedic actor Rebel Wilson awarded in excess of $4.5 million over publications that called her a “serial liar” ... In a scathing attack, Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon finds aggravation and “recklessness” on the part of Bauer Media and largely accepts Wilson’s case on special damages ... more

Damages    September 6, 2017  
Bruce Gregory v Samantha Johnson

Former wife who maliciously accused her ex-husband of being a paedophile after he pleaded guilty to “observing” his stepdaughter in the shower, is ordered to pay him damages of $170,000 … The defendant files no defence and exits the damages hearing ... more

Appeals    September 5, 2017   thumbnail
Danny Lim v Regina

An activist who displayed a sign calling former Prime Minister Tony Abbott a “C-NT” wins appeal over a conviction for offensive language … NSW District Court Judge Andrew Scotting held that it was only “marginally offensive” and protected by freedom of political communication … Sally McCausland reports ... more

Interlocutory    September 5, 2017  
Jane Doe v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Limited & Michael Bachelard

NSW Supreme Court orders discovery of documents and answers to interrogatories pertaining to the alleged identification of a sexual assault victim by Fairfax Media … Leading investigative journalist is issued with a certificate protecting him from self-incrimination ... more

Interlocutory    September 4, 2017   thumbnail
Sophie Mirabella v Libby Price & Benalla Newspapers Pty Ltd

Failed Liberal Party candidate for the federal seat of Indi fails to have local paper’s Hore-Lacy imputation struck out … It is a permissible variant of Sophie Mirabella’s imputation that she “physically pushed Cathy McGowan” and should go to the jury ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 29, 2017  
Publishing for eternity: The legal and practical consequences of the multiple publication rule in defamation law

In this paper, presented at a recent UNSW defamation and media law seminar, News Corp Australia in-house counsel Larina Mullins reviews the history and application of the multiple publication rule in defamation law and concludes it is a “relic” in the digital age in urgent need of legislative reform ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 25, 2017   thumbnail
Triviality, proportionality and a threshold of serious harm

Unique to Australian law, the defence of triviality was recently upheld by the QLD Court of Appeal in the “Dennis Denuto” case … In this paper, presented at the recent UNSW seminar on developments in defamation law, Sydney University’s Professor David Rolph looks at where triviality, proportionality and serious harm have featured in the Australian defamation context ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 23, 2017  
Recent developments in fair report of public proceedings and public documents

In this paper, presented at a recent UNSW defamation and media law seminar, barrister Richard Potter looks at the statutory and common law defences of “fair report” when applied to a “hybrid” account, how the defence has been recently narrowed and the issues in pre-publication legalling ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 22, 2017   thumbnail
Is liking something on Facebook "protected political speech"?

Is “liking” something on Facebook protected political speech? It depends, says Monash University human rights academic Melissa Castan ... In this article, she examines recent public service guidelines and the case involving an army reservist dismissed for posting anti-gay comments ... more

Publication    August 22, 2017  
Brian Taylor v Sheena Hewitt

The problems of self-representation are painfully apparent in defamation proceedings brought over a post on a company’s Facebook page … Proceedings are dismissed for lack of evidence – of any kind ... more

Suppression    August 20, 2017   thumbnail
Open justice v suppression orders: Tales from the front line

Suppression orders continue to pose a real problem for the media … How do they work and why are they so freely granted? ... News Corp Australia in-house counsel Larina Mullins reports on a recent case from the front line and reviews the current state of play in our courts ... more

Dossier    August 18, 2017  
In Liu of sources

Chinese-Australian businesswoman’s sources disclosure battle with The Age ends with a whimper … Fairfax fails to have Jamaican cricketer’s actions dismissed over security for costs tardiness … Website operated by blogger jailed for contempt still up and defaming … Australian government finally announces an inquiry into contempt … NSW union official accused of bribery settles with the ABC and Fairfax … Nationwide News settles two actions brought over Daily Telegraph stories ... more

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