Category Archives: Qualified privilege

Barrister’s internet defamation: He fought the law and the law won: Dods v McDonald [2016] VSC 201

During the evening of 11 December 2008, Tyler Cassidy, a 15 year old boy had stolen two large knives from Kmart at Northcote Plaza Shopping Centre, near All Nations Park. He moved through the shopping centre, its shops and car … Continue reading

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Artists’ appeal upheld, record verdict set aside and re-trial ordered: Vakras v Cripps [2015] VSCA 193

In 2014, a gallery owner, Raymond Cripps was awarded a record $420,000 defamation verdict in the Victorian Supreme Court. The verdict was made by His Honour Justice Kyrou against two surrealist artists, Demetrios Vakras and Lee-Anne Raymond. They held an … Continue reading

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Hockey hoists Fairfax on its own placard: Hockey v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 652

On 5 May 2014, Fairfax, through the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times, ran a series of articles about a Liberal Party fundraising entity called the North Sydney Forum. North Sydney is the seat held by Australia’s … Continue reading

Posted in Damages, Defamatory meaning, government and political matter, News, Qualified privilege, Trial, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mildura Water Corporation Appeal hosed down: Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation v Di Masi & Ors [2014] VSCA 104

In 2012, a jury in the Supreme Court of Victoria sat in Mildura, a small orange-picking town on the border of NSW, for 22 days (there were a further four days of legal argument) and heard a defamation case. At … Continue reading

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No tort for breach of privacy in South Australian epic: Sands v South Australia [2013] SASC 44

In a trial that ran for 55 days late last year and concluding in February this year, the plaintiff, Derick John Sands, has lost his claim for defamation, as well as other claims including a breach of confidence and a … Continue reading

Posted in Absolute privilege, Damages, Identification, News, Privacy, Publication, Reciprocal duty-interest, Trial, Truth | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Tanzanian Tycoon’s Claim Falls Flat: Mengi v Hermitage [2012] EWHC 3445

In 2004, Sarah Hermitage, an English solicitor, and her husband, Stewart Middleton, an agronomist, bought a lease to the Silverdale Farm in Tanzania for $112,000. They wanted to live there peacefully and build up an agricultural business, exporting vegetables to … Continue reading

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Murray Water Corporation sent down the river for $295,000: Belbin& Others v Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation [2012] VSC 535

In the northwest of Victoria sits the orange-picking town of Mildura on the Murray River. To get there from Melbourne usually involves a 6-hour drive or a small flight on a plane with a flip-top lid. But it was there … Continue reading

Posted in Damages, fair and accurate report, Qualified privilege, Reciprocal duty-interest, Trial, Truth | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Holmes a Court wins in High Court: Papaconstuntinos v Holmes a Court [2012] HCA 53

Given that AFL Football and cricket have this year graced us with fantastic defamation cases about talk shows, lurid affairs and sordid match-fixing claims, it seems only natural that Rugby League would eventually get a Guernsey as well. And so … Continue reading

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Setka Setback against Liberal’s Libel: Setka v Abbott & Anor [2012] VSC 534

On 10 February this year, Tony Abbott, (yes the leader of the Coalition) spoke at a conference of the Masters Building Association. He spoke about the Australian Building and Construction Commission and his words were republished by Sky News. He … Continue reading

Posted in contextual truth, defences, government and political matter, Strike out application | Tagged | 1 Comment

High Court rules on Replying to an Attack: Harbour Radio P/L v Trad [2012] HCA 44

On 18 December 2005, about a week after the Cronulla Riots, Keysar Trad was one of the speakers at a “peace rally” in front of 5000 people at Hyde Park in Sydney. He said this: “I never lost my faith … Continue reading

Posted in contextual truth, Defamatory meaning, Malice, News, Qualified privilege, reply to attack, Truth | Tagged , , | 1 Comment