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Appeals    October 20, 2016   thumbnail
Brett Smith v Ken Lucht

Ipswich solicitor who was likened to The Castle’s bumbling lawyer “Dennis Denuto” loses appeal over the dismissal of his defamation action … The defence of triviality holds … QLD Court of Appeal finds “harm” in section 33 applies only to reputation, not to hurt feelings ... more

Dossier    October 20, 2016  
Courting trouble

Court reporting attracts defamation actions in three jurisdictions – NSW, QLD and WA … Billionaire Chinese businessman sues Fairfax Media over bribery allegations … Rebel Wilson sues Bauer Media over liar allegations … NSW government noise specialist sues Alan Jones over corruption allegations … Channel Seven settles over ratbag (and other) allegations ... more

Appeals    October 18, 2016   thumbnail
Tony Zoef v Nationwide News Pty Ltd

Case of mistaken identity ends in damages of $150,000 for an elderly suburban tailor accused of being a gunrunner and arms dealer … NSW Court of Appeal finds The Daily Telegraph’s offer of amends was unreasonable in the circumstances ... more

Damages    October 13, 2016  
Oliver Douglas v Terence McLernon & Ors

WA Supreme Court awards record damages of $700,000 to three Perth businessmen over “brazen” internet defamation by a self-represented defendant … Justice Ken Martin issues a warning to bloggers over the applicability of defamation law ... Jonelle Di Lena reports ... more

Interlocutory    October 11, 2016   thumbnail
David Adeang v The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Interesting interlocutory judgment leaves the ABC with half of its contextual truth defence and the Justice Minister of Nauru with two additional imputations … No other defences are pleaded for a Lateline story ... more

Imputations    October 7, 2016  
John McMillan v The Federal Capital Press of Australia Pty Ltd

Former Australian Information Commissioner maintains most of his pleaded imputations for an article in The Canberra Times ... Allegations of hypocrisy and betrayal do not arise, but those of negligence and incompetence do … Naaman Zhou reports ... more

Privacy    October 4, 2016   thumbnail
Privacy injunction granted following iCloud hack

The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister is granted a continuing privacy injunction in respect of all her material stored on iCloud, after it was hacked … The UK High Court warns of criminal prosecution ... more

Injunctions    October 3, 2016  
Richard Furnari v Claudia Ziegert & Anor

Injunction refused over a YouTube clip that allegedly involved an “illegal recording” of abusive phone calls … The recording was not an interception … Mediation ordered … Naaman Zhou reports ... more

Appeals    September 30, 2016   thumbnail
Father John Fleming v Advertiser-News Weekend Publishing Company Pty Ltd & Anor

Catholic priest loses appeal over the dismissal of his defamation action … The trial judge had “clear and cogent evidence” upon which to base “compelling” truth findings about the plaintiff’s sexual misconduct, including that he had sexual relations with a teenage girl ... more

Appeals    September 29, 2016  
Adriana Kostov v FanFan Zhang & Ors

Leave to appeal refused for defamation and injurious falsehood actions that a plaintiff sought to have transferred from the NSW District Court to the NSW Supreme Court … Her grounds were “prolix and difficult to understand” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 28, 2016   thumbnail
Internet defamation and the liability of intermediaries

A recent High Court of Ireland decision resulted in Facebook being ordered to identify a pseudonymous account holder … Take down and injunction applications were denied … Associate Professor at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Law, Dr Eoin O’Dell analyses the latest word on internet defamation, intermediaries and liability ... more

Injunctions    September 26, 2016  
Dr Munjed Al Muderis v Rodney Duncan & Ors

NSW Supreme Court grants interim injunctive relief over the publication of a website attacking an orthopaedic surgeon … The defendants are ordered to suspend a domain name almost identical to his professional website address ... more

Dossier    September 23, 2016   thumbnail
Here come de (former) judge

“Arrogant”, “high-handed”, “insulting”, “derisory” etc etc … Former Federal Court Judge Tony Whitlam lets fly with some adjectival opprobrium in his claim against the ABC over a story involving paedophile priest John Farrell … Plaintiff who was awarded $150,000 over Facebook “paedophile” defamation gets indemnity costs ... more

Injunctions    September 22, 2016  
Geoffrey Murphy v Michael Barfield

Dispute over monies owed by a Rockhampton building company ends in defamation action and an application for an interlocutory injunction … The QLD District Court refuses to restrain a man whose truck displays defamatory signs in the interests of free speech ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 19, 2016   thumbnail
Social media, defamation law, free speech and the need for reform

Social media has made everyone a publisher, but it puts free speech at risk, particularly in Australia, where discussion has been too narrowly focused on section 18C, says Sydney University media law academic Dr David Rolph ... Reform of our defamation laws is needed ... more

Comment    September 16, 2016  
Natalie O'Brien v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Important judgment for the ABC … NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum finds Media Watch segment is defensible as fair comment in the public interest and as honest opinion … Defamation action brought by a journalist it accused of “trickery” and irresponsibility fails ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 14, 2016   thumbnail
Recent developments in UK media law

Leading UK media lawyer John Battle “wowed” an audience of Australian lawyers at a Communications and Media Law Association seminar on recent developments in UK media law … Justin Pen was there to report the action, and reaction ... more

Privilege    September 13, 2016  
Stephen Templar v Dr Phillip Watt & Anor (No 3)

Defamation action brought by a health service provider against a government paediatric specialist over an email ends in a verdict for the defendants … Most of the imputations pleaded were “pitched too high” and qualified privilege is made out ... more

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