Category Archives: contextual truth

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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Setka further set back by the Prime Minister in Court of Appeal: Setka v Abbott & Anor [2013] VSCA 345

  John Setka is the Divisional Branch Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU). On 10 February 2012, the now Prime Minister (then Leader of the Opposition), attended a conference of the … 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

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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

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Nine-day trial yields Five K verdict: Holt v TCN Channel Nine P/L [2012] NSWSC 770

Andrew Holt brought defamation proceedings against Channel 9 for an edition of A Current Affair that was broadcast on 28 July 2009. The broadcast related to how he treated his late wife, Karen Holt, who was then dying with cancer. … Continue reading

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Habib’s Run ends with a big win: Habib v Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd & Ors

On 14 August 2005 in Sydney, Mamdouh Habib, a man who had seen more pain and adversity than any person ought to have to ever bear, ran the City to Surf. He did pretty well, but unbeknownst to him, this … Continue reading

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Copying the defendant’s imputations – Just not on: Waterhouse v The Age Company Ltd & Ors [2012] NSWSC 9

After the usual fight about imputations, the plaintiff’s amended statement of claim alleged that articles from The Age carried the following imputations about him: (a)     the plaintiff procured the murder of George Brown; OR (b)     the plaintiff was an accessory … Continue reading

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Captain Dragan appeal fails: Snedden v Nationwide New Pty Ltd [2011] NSWCA 262

The plaintiff, Daniel Snedden, also known as Dragan Vasilykovic sued The Australian for an article published in September 2005: “Serbian Death squad commander alive and well teaching golf in Perth.” There was a trial by jury held to determine whether … Continue reading

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Contextual Truth and Nothing But the Truth: Besser v Kermode [2011] NSWCA 174

The contextual truth defence is the most complicated, convoluted and confusing defences available in defamation at common law. Under the 2005 Act, it means that the defendant claims this: “The words don’t mean that… they mean this other thing, which … Continue reading

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