Australia: Hockey’s defamation suit shows need for wider free speech debate – David Rolph

5 07 2015

Joe Hockey Treasurer for SaleTreasurer Joe Hockey’s decision to sue Fairfax Media for defamation over the now-notorious front-page story “Treasurer for sale” raises interesting questions about politicians suing to protect their reputation, allied with the protection of freedom of speech in Australia. Read the rest of this entry »





Limiting Reputational Damage – Rhory Robertson

3 07 2015

Rhory RobertsonDespite a surprise rise in defamation claims in 2014, libel actions are largely a thing of the past. The official statistics show a substantial decrease in the number of issued defamation claims over the past few years. For example, in 2013 there were 142 claims as opposed to 186 in 2012.  Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Hockey v Fairfax Media, Joe Hockey awarded $200,000 over malicious poster and tweets – Yvonne Kux

3 07 2015

gazetteIn a judgment handed down on 30 June 2015 ([2015] FCA 652), the Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has been awarded damages totalling $200,000 over a poster and two tweets which accused him of “corruptly soliciting and accepting payments to influence his decisions as Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia”. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Dr Bruce Flegg v Graeme Hallett, Massive damages for career destroying political defamation – Yvonne Kux

28 06 2015

gazetteIn the case of Flegg v Hallett ([2015] QSC 167 [pdf]) the former Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works, Bruce Flegg, has been awarded damages totalling $775,000 over malicious comments made at a press conference and in a radio interview by his ex-media adviser, Graeme Hallett. Read the rest of this entry »





Proving “Serious Harm” under the Defamation Act 2013: The “Serious Harm Report” – Dave King

17 06 2015

reputation_iconThe result of section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013 is that a claimant in a defamation case must now establish that a publication “has caused or is likely to cause” serious harm to his or her reputation.  A common law damage was presumed and the proof of the existence of serious harm is potentially a difficult hurdle for a claimant to overcome.  The standard defendant response to a letter before action now usually involves a demand that the claimant identifies evidence of serious harm. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Gabriella Piscioneri v Anthony Brisciani, Online discussion forum defamation damages of $82,000 – Alexi Polden

14 06 2015

gazetteIn the case of Piscioneri v Brisciani ([2015] ACTSC 106), the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court found that the owner and administrator of online forumZGeek is liable for discussion on it, and awarded $82,000 damages to a lawyer defamed on the site. Read the rest of this entry »





Judicial Statistics: 2014, Defamation claims increase by 60%, the highest number since 2009

9 06 2015

ministry-of-justiceThe most recent annual Judicial Statistics – those for 2014 – show a substantial increase in the number of issued defamation claims, up by 60% on 2013.  In 2014 there were 227 issued defamation claims in London (where the large majority of claims are made) – as opposed to 142 in 2013.  This is the highest annual figure since 2009. Read the rest of this entry »








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