• The first test for s29A of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW)

    18th Oct 2023

    In Australia’s first full trial to test the new ‘public interest’ defence, the ABC has been defeated by former soldier Heston Russell, who sued for defamation over publications alleging he was involved in shooting and killing an Afghan prisoner while in command of the November Platoon in 2012. Barrister David J Helvadjian analyses the key points.

  • Inventiveness of ChatGPT poses risk of defamation

    15th Jun 2023

    'The law is in a constant grey area when it comes to new technology that develops faster than laws can be updated', writes Mark Shumsky of Stacks Law Firm, discussing the whistleblower ChatGPT mistook for a criminal, and the difficulties in pursuing defamation actions against AI. 

  • Former employee of cosmetic clinic sued for defamation on Instagram story

    12th Aug 2021

    Anneka Frayne discusses defamation on social media in the Brisbane case of BeautyFULL CMC Pty Ltd & Ors v Hayes [2021] QDC 111. She provides a summary of the defamatory claims and the court’s finding, and highlights that the courts are willing to take action, even if there are relatively few recipients of the defamatory posts.

  • Posting defamatory conspiracy theories online can cost you

    25th Feb 2021

    The Federal Court awarded damages of $875,000 in the case of Webster v Brewer (No. 3) [2020] FCA 1343, which involved defamation and online conspiracy theories. Geoff Baldwin discusses the Court’s reasoning and the likelihood that social media publishers will be held more accountable for material that is published on its platforms.

  • Do defamation laws need to be updated in the digital age? (part 2)

    23rd Jul 2020

    In the second part of this two-part series, Richard Bradshaw and Caitlin Walkington cover the common distinct features of online publications and what changes should be made to defamation laws.

  • Do defamation laws need to be updated in the digital age? (part 1)

    16th Jul 2020

    Social media and the use of the internet have evolved in a manner that neither the legislators nor the courts could have foreseen, allowing defamatory material to be published and accessed in unprecedented ways.

    In the first part of this two-part series, Richard Bradshaw and Caitlin Walkington cover who is a 'publisher' in the digital age and the differences between primary and secondary publishers.

  • How the term ‘coward punch’ won a $100,000 defamation payout

    20th Feb 2020

    As Michael McHugh explains, language is a powerful tool – in society and in law.  ‘Coward punch’ describes a characteristic of the perpetrator of such an act: that in hitting a defenceless person in an unprovoked manner, the actor is not only committing a violent act but also, distinctly, is contemptibly lacking the courage to act in a proper or fair way. 

  • Aboriginal group launches defamation case against Channel 7

    11th Jul 2019

    Peter O’Brien represents a group of clients from the NT community of Yirrkala, who are suing Channel 7 in the Federal Court following a segment that was broadcast on Sunrise Breakfast. In June, Channel 7 attempted that argue that the community members’ Statement of Claim should be struck out.

  • Defamation actions: the high cost of social media posts, comments and ‘likes’

    24th May 2018

    Seeking restitution for defamation in a world of social media.