Damages    December 18, 2002

Carleton v ABC

60 Minutes reporter, Richard Carleton, executive producer John Westacott and segment producer Howard Sacre were all defamed by two Media Watch broadcasts in June 2000, Justice Higgins of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory has found. However, the ABC avoided liability by successfully establishing a defence of fair comment. … more


Damages    December 11, 2002

Penfold v Higgins

The plaintiff was a safari hunting operator and the defendant was an employee of the Northern Land Council which negotiated on behalf of traditional owners of land. In 1994 the defendant published a briefing note to the Director of NLC which accused Penfold of shooting animals without the correct permission and that he should not be granted a licence until outstanding debts were paid. Also, that Penfold had no respect for others save for himself and actively dealt in disinformation. On the first day of the trial the defendant admitted liability and apologised in respect of publication to the Director of the NLC but did not admit any further republication to anyone else. The court found that the defendant was liable for republication. … more


Damages    August 30, 2002

Essey v Harding

Plaintiffs defamed in a review of a product in a newsletter circulated to school canteens. Imputations included the first plaintiff caused the second plaintiff to engage in serious breaches of Western Australian laws, the first plaintiff was so greedy for profits that he caused the second plaintiff to deliberately put the health of consumers at risk , the first plaintiff caused the second plaintiff to endanger the health of children who used its products and the first plaintiff caused the second plaintiff to cheat customers by the deceptive marketing of its products. … more


Damages    June 20, 2002

Thomson v Broadley

The plaintiff was employed by the defendant’s automotive business and was terminated. The defendant, the managing director of the business, published defamatory remarks to several television stations where the likely consequence was the republishing of these remarks. The remarks included allegations that the plaintiff was dismissed for bad language and incompetency, and that allegations the plaintiff had made regarding illegal conduct in the workplace were false. … more


Damages    May 15, 2002

Junn v Furniture First Removals Pty Ltd

The defendant distributed a leaflet stating that the plaintiff had failed and refused to pay money owing and that care should be taken when dealing with the plaintiff in business matters. While it was true that the plaintiff had not paid the money owed, it was not in the public interest that this was revealed. Malice defeated the defence of qualified privilege. No judicial authority was found to support the apparent defence of provocation. Given that truth was established and the defendant had apologised, Patten DCJ thought a nominal verdict appropriate. … more