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Truth    August 24, 2016   thumbnail
Malgorzata Poniatowska v Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd & Anor

SA Supreme Court dismisses case brought against Today Tonight by a woman who was initially found to have acted fraudulently in relation to Centrelink payments … All the pleaded defences are upheld, including Lange qualified privilege ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 21, 2016  
Freedom of speech, radicalisation and the "prevent duty"

Section 26 of the UK’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 articulates a duty to prevent people from being “drawn into terrorism” ... But at what price and how effective can it really be? Leeds University media law academic Dr Paul Wragg investigates ... more

Interlocutory    August 19, 2016   thumbnail
Keshwar Baboolal v Fairfax Digital Australia & New Zealand and Ors

QLD Supreme Court follows Victorian Court of Appeal ruling and refuses to strike out the so-called Hore-Lacy truth defence pleaded by Fairfax Media … It is a substantive defence available under the common law in that state ... more

Appeals    August 18, 2016  
Fairfax Media Publications v Antonio & Benjamin Zeccola

NSW Court of Appeal allows contextual imputation appeal by Fairfax, in part … General contextual imputations are permitted, but a contextual imputation of reasonable suspicion must be attributed to an individual … Naaman Zhou reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 16, 2016   thumbnail
Practice Notes - Tom Blackburn SC

As one of Australia’s leading defamation silks, Tom Blackburn SC has acted for a range of mass media clients, and the occasional plaintiff … He’s leaving the jurisdiction for the big libel smoke of London, and agreed to share his thoughts on privacy, defamation, section 18C and more ... more

Damages    August 16, 2016  
Robert Grattan v Diane Porter

Another nasty, unsupported allegation of paedophilia results in damages of $170,000 payable by the woman who made it against a former friend … QLD District Court Judge John Robertson finds the defendant acted maliciously ... more

Appeals    August 15, 2016   thumbnail
Gabriella Piscioneri v Anthony Brisciani (No 4)

The ACT Court of Appeal unanimously upholds the $82,000 awarded to a former lawyer defamed by posts on an online forum … The trial judge was correct on all counts – imputations, defences and damages ... more

Media Matters    August 15, 2016  
Judges, juries and prejudicial publicity

Recent research by NSW academics John Eldridge and Rebecca McEwan examines whether judges are in fact better able to disregard prejudicial publicity than jurors …The surprising results in full in this paper, first published in the Alternative Law Journal ... more

Media Matters    August 14, 2016   thumbnail
Special leave submissions: Journalists' sources

The Age will shortly be seeking special leave in a bid to prevent Chinese-Australian businesswoman Helen Liu from learning the identity of sources for a series exposing her allegedly corrupt relationship with former Labor defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon … Read the submissions in full … more

Injunctions    August 12, 2016  
QBH Commercial Pty Ltd & Anor v Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon refuses to injunct an A Current Affair program which alleged a plumbing company was overcharging by hundreds of thousands of dollars … Defamation damages are an adequate remedy ... more

Damages    August 10, 2016   thumbnail
Sean Carolan v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Peter FitzSimons

Fairfax Media ordered to pay damages of $300,000 for falsely claiming a personal trainer injected football players with a banned substance, blood-tested Roosters players without their consent, was involved with organised crime and deserved to be fired … Justice Lucy McCallum finds the defamation “serious” ... more

Dossier    August 10, 2016  
Sexist storm in a tweet

Two tweets later – defamation, intimidation, injurious falsehood and misleading and deceptive conduct … The ombudsman’s complaint … The public servant’s proceedings … The Muslim parliamentarian’s action … Regional papers in the firing line … The NSW solicitor general on contempt … The high price of suppression orders ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 9, 2016   thumbnail
Is Fox News a breach of human rights?

Human rights academic Professor Sarah Joseph has been examining the intersection between the media and human rights … What impact can the United Nations’ guiding principles have? ... Alexi Polden attended a recent UNSW seminar to find out ... more

Interlocutory    August 8, 2016  
Quan Pham v Legal Services Commissioner

The Victorian Supreme Court has struck out a defamation claim brought by a solicitor who was found guilty of professional misconduct … The imputations aren’t capable of arising ... more

Damages    August 8, 2016   thumbnail
Kenneth Rothe v David Scott

Facebook post results in substantial damages of $150,000 for “paedophile” smear … “The defendant published allegations of this seriousness without any prior inquiry or proper evidence, for purposes of inciting a lynch mob mentality” says NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson ... more

Media Matters    August 4, 2016  
Bench press blues

The Daily and Sunday Telegraph’s coverage of the Harriet Wran case resulted in a “discounted” sentence … Richard Ackland reviews the “distasteful and misleading” material that led to Justice Ian Harrison’s controversial sentencing judgment ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 1, 2016   thumbnail
Practice Notes - Bruce McClintock SC

He’s the go-to barrister for high profile plaintiffs, including Joe Hockey, Gina Rinehart and Eddie Obeid and also acts for big media organisations … Bruce McClintock SC has made media law his area of specialty … He agreed to tell the Gazette why, and how it could be improved ... more

Interlocutory    August 1, 2016  
Kenneth Rothe v David Scott

Interesting interlocutory judgment on telephone evidence over defamatory Facebook post … Judge Judith Gibson rules the plaintiff out, but his two witnesses in … The trial proceeds, even without the plaintiff’s evidence ... more

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