Trial reports    December 22, 2004

Robin Bass v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd

“Shonky” building industry operator finally fails at jury trial on whether malice infected a 60 Minutes interview by Mike Munro 14 years ago ... more


Damages    December 17, 2004

Erglis v Buckley (No 2)

After a four week defamation trial, a Brisbane jury awards “whistleblower” nurse $15,000. Scope of parliamentary privilege still to be determined … more


Damages    December 15, 2004

Thompson v Robinson

“Sugar” Ray Robinson ordered to pay damages of $70,000 over his accusation that the husband of an ATSIC commissioner “had done 10 years for rape” … more


Section 7A    December 10, 2004

Saunders v Nationwide News Pty Ltd

Nine-year-old Aboriginal plaintiff fails in action against The Daily Telegraph over Taree petrol sniffing story. Section 7A trial ... more


More...    December 7, 2004

Gorman v Barber

Perversity appeal upheld for the first time since the High Court’s decision in Rivkin. NSW Court of Appeal does not send the imputation back for a new jury trial but directs judgment fo the plaintiff ... more


Damages    December 3, 2004

Erglis v Buckley

Republication of defamation in parliament can add to damages in court … more


More...    November 30, 2004

Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Reading

Court of Appeal restores jury verdict in favour of ABC. Justice Shaw erred in discharging jury and ordering a new s.7A trial in relation to Four Corners’ program. Jury has to undertake an “impressionistic exercise” and Justice McColl says in considering perversity there should be appellate restraint, as jurors are the arbiters of community standards ... more


Damages    November 24, 2004

Rowan v Cornwall & Ors

In 1987 one of the 13 defendants, Dr Cornwall a State Minister, tabled in SA Parliament a report which made serious allegations concerning the administration and activities of the Christie’s Beach Woman’s Shelter. The plaintiff was the administrator of the shelter. The trial judge awarded total damages of $340,425. As his publication was protected by absolute privilege the claim against Dr Cornwall was misfeasance in public office.
In November 2004 the Full Court of the Supreme Court of SA allowed the appeal in part and found that Dr Cornwall was liable for both misfeasance (which involves establishment of malice). With regard to the TV publications the defence of extended common law QP for government political discussion succeeded for the TV companies and their conduct was held to be reasonable. However, the Full Court held that one of the defendants, Mrs Roberts, was liable to the plaintiff in relation to the two television broadcasts and her conduct was not reasonable so extended QP was not available to her. … more


Publication    November 18, 2004

William El Azzi v Nationwide News Pty Ltd

Spigelman CJ puts off for another day the vexed issue of admissibility of post-publication evidence of a plaintiff’s bad reputation. The trial cannot be further delayed. The desire for perfect justice needs to be modified to ensure any measure of justice ... more