Justin Castelan, Barrister

Justin has been at the Victorian Bar for 18 years and specialises in defamation and commercial law. He set up this blog in 2012 to specifically write on developments in defamation and media law in Australia and throughout the common law world. Since that time he has posted more than 100 articles and contributed to other publications such as The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog in the UK.

He has been engaged as Counsel to act for many clients, including business people, political identities, sportspeople, internet publishers and Australian film bodies. Presently, he acts for Whirlpool, the largest internet forum in Australia, having more than 800,000 registered members and the publisher of more than 2.4 million threads. He is a regular speaker for the Leo Cussen Institute on the topic of Defamation Law on the internet.

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Recent cases in defamation law

Inflation night-club

Inflation night-club owner wins $90,000 for police slur: Tsamis v State of Victoria [2019] VSC 826

Martha Tsamis has worked in the nightclub industry for around 30 years and is the manager of the Inflation night-club in Melbourne. In October 2013, the police brought an application to restrict Inflation’s trading hours (LCRA proceeding). The evidence was that the police brought this in an attempt to reduce the incidence of drug overdoses,…

The defendants

60 Minutes indefensible defamation: $4 more million for the Wagner family: Wagner v Nine Network Australia PL & Ors [2019] QSC 284

Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner operated a quarry in Grantham in Queensland. In January 2011, there was a flood that devastated the town and killed 12 people. A Commission of Inquiry made findings that the disaster was a natural event and no human action caused it or could have prevented it – not much…

Chau Chak Wing Building UTS

Philanthropist Wins Round One: Chau v Fairfax Media Publications PL [2019] FCA 185

Dr Chau Chak Wing is a wealthy Chinese-born Australian citizen. He has extensive business interests in China and is a very generous philanthropist. He has donated enormous sums of money to a number of universities and public institutions in Australia, as well as having made donations to the main political parties in Australia. He apparently…

Defamation Hall of Fame

The Classic defamation trial is always one for the ages. Here’s some of our favourites

Contributed to

Justin Castelan appeared in the following cases

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