Articles on Defamation

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Joe Hockey’s successful defamation case against Fairfax Media raises questions about the extent to which politicians should be able to sue in relation to publications about their public conduct. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Hockey v Fairfax should start the debate on defamation law reform

Hockey v Fairfax illustrates that recent legal and technological developments still pose challenges for defamation law, which has not been reformed to keep pace with these changes.
Picking a fight with a media company should not be a politician’s priority. AAP/Nikki Short

Hockey’s defamation win is dark news for democracy and free speech

The elephant in the room in the just-concluded defamation case between Joe Hockey and Fairfax Media was the actual story being attacked. Media organisations ought to be able to instigate the debate without fear of reprisals by litigious politicians.
The real life of Gina Rinehart is dramatic enough – so why did the writers of House of Hancock need to embellish it? AAP Image/Tony McDonough

The Hancock truths are strange enough – did we need fiction?

Last weekend Channel 9’s two-part television drama, House of Hancock, was screened. It wasn’t quite the version that the producers had expected to air. After legal action was initiated against Channel…
Queensland-born broadcaster Alan Jones isn’t backing down from allegations he has made against the state’s Premier and Deputy Premier, despite the pair suing him. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Queensland Premier suing Alan Jones is ‘risky’: legal experts

Legal experts warn that the Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier are taking a risk by suing radio host Alan Jones for defamation…
Check your privilege before you speak. Eric Hossinger

Explainer: what is parliamentary privilege?

Labour MP Jim Hood is under scrutiny for making allegations about former home secretary Leon Brittan in the House of Commons. He was able to do so under what is known as parliamentary privilege. The British…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has commenced defamation proceedings against several Fairfax newspapers over the ‘Treasurer for sale’ story. AAP/Dean Lewins

Hockey’s defamation suit shows need for wider free speech debate

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s decision to sue Fairfax Media for defamation over the now-notorious front-page story “Treasurer for sale” raises interesting questions about politicians suing to protect their reputation…
Social media users should be careful about posting nasty comments online, after a NSW teacher successfully sued a former student at her school for defaming her on Twitter. shutterstock

Teacher defamation highlights social media’s legal perils

Last November, a young man was ordered by a NSW court to pay A$105,000 in damages for defaming a teacher at his former school on Twitter. The decision, which only came to light earlier this week, should…

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