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Appeals Articles from 2017
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Appeals    November 6, 2017  
Denis Wagner & Ors v Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd & Ors

Wagner brothers succeed in having three struck-out imputations reinstated by the QLD Court of Appeal … Nine Network and journalist Nick Cater will now have to defend some serious allegations, including that the plaintiffs caused the deaths of 12 people ... more

Appeals    October 13, 2017  
Google Inc v Janice Duffy

SA Full Court finds Google liable for publication of defamatory content of snippets and hyperlinked articles … This case note and comment by London-based media law specialist Hugh Tomlinson QC ... more

Appeals    September 28, 2017  
Simone Farrow v Nationwide News Pty Ltd

Convicted drug smuggler denied leave to appeal District Court judgment rejecting her bid for leave to commence defamation proceedings over Daily Telegraph articles … NSW Court of Appeal also affirms abuse of process finding on proportionality grounds ... more

Appeals    September 5, 2017  
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

Appeals    July 7, 2017  
Scott Hunter v Dr Benjamin Hanson

A man who sent defamatory letters about a doctor to the Health Care Complaints Commission and the NSW Medical Board is refused leave to appeal $68,000 in damages … Absolute privilege doesn’t apply and the quantum is appropriate ... more

Appeals    June 8, 2017  
Yosef Feldman v GNM Australia Ltd

Sydney rabbi wins an appeal over the permanent staying of his defamation action against The Guardian (Australia) ... Failure to publish an agreed statement critical … Judgment has implications for settlement negotiations … Sebastian Tonkin reports ... more

Appeals    June 8, 2017  
Christopher Daunt Watney v Janet Kencian & Anor

QLD Court of Appeal finds that a jury’s determination that imputations pleaded by a school principal were not defamatory was perverse … The court leaves for another day the question as to whether the Jameel principle applies in Queensland … Patrick McCafferty reports ... more

Appeals    June 5, 2017  
Michael McDonald v Colin Dods

Queensland barrister who “egregiously” defamed a Victorian police officer refused leave to appeal a $150,000 damages order … The defamatory claims were “at the highest end of the scale” and Google search engine results could be inferred ... more

Appeals    May 17, 2017  
John Lesses v Theo Maras

Full Court of the SA Supreme Court finds one imputation pleaded for three publications wasn’t conveyed … Bitter battle between former friends and members of the Greek Orthodox community in Adelaide continues ... more

Appeals    May 8, 2017  
Dr Ratna Ghosh v Nine Digital Pty Ltd

NSW Court of Appeal rejects attempt to have two defendants whose cases were dismissed in the District Court added to separate proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court … It would cause “undue oppression and injustice” to Channel Nine ... more

Appeals    May 2, 2017  
Natalie O'Brien v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A rare win for the comment/honest opinion defence is appealed in the NSW Supreme Court … Did the ABC’s Media Watch host Paul Barry base his comments on proper material? ... Natalie O’Brien, the journalist who was defamed, fights back ... more

Appeals    April 24, 2017  
Quan Pham v Legal Services Commissioner

Victorian solicitor found guilty of professional misconduct and who unsuccessfully sued over a report on the Legal Services Commissioner’s website refused leave to appeal … His imputations are not capable of being conveyed ... more

Appeals    April 21, 2017  
Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Malcolm Weatherup

The Australian loses appeal over jury verdict which found it was untrue a former Townsville Bulletin court reporter was “habitually intoxicated” ... QLD Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth finds the jury’s verdict reasonable in all but one instance ... more

Appeals    March 8, 2017  
Chief of the Defence Force v Bernard Gaynor

The Full Court of the Australian Federal Court has found an Army Reserve officer whose commission was terminated after he refused to stop espousing “extreme” anti-gay and anti-Muslim views, did not have a constitutional “right” to express his opinions … Lange implied freedom of political communication was wrongly determined at the first instance ... more

Appeals    February 21, 2017  
Madura Perera v Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Pty Ltd

A Sydney property valuer wins appeal over the striking out of his defamation claim … His clumsily pleaded claim in respect of identification and defamatory meanings could be “easily remedied” ... Naaman Zhou reports ... more

Appeals    February 21, 2017  
Yosef Feldman v Vic Alhadeff

Sydney rabbi loses appeal over the dismissal of another of his defamation claims – this one against the chief executive officer of the Jewish Board of Deputies … Naaman Zhou reports ... more

Appeals    January 24, 2017  
Google Inc v Milorad Trkulja

Interesting decision by the Victorian Court of Appeal finds for Google – not on the basis that it isn’t a primary publisher – but because the particular search engine results aren’t capable of being defamatory … Case brought by previously successful plaintiff may end up in the High Court ... more