Defamation

In this electronic age, publications are extremely easy to be made that can destroy a persons reputation at the click of a computer send button. Defamation law is increasingly the choice of those defamed and who require a published apology and also compensation for the damaging publications.

There are five requisite elements to be successful in a lawsuit for Defamation.

  • Somebody must have made either an Oral or Written or both, statement about you that is against your character to a third person.
  • The statement must have been published.
  • The statement must have caused injury.
  • The statement must be false.
  • The statement must not be protected by privilege.

If you are the Defendant in a Defamation action, there are defenses available to you known as

Honest Belief

The Uniform Defamation Laws make honest opinion and innocent dissemination new statutory defenses. The defence of honest opinion relates to the publication of matter that is an expression of opinion honestly held by its maker, as opposed to statements of fact. Such opinion must concern a matter of public interest and must be based on proper material. The honest opinion defence is defeated if the plaintiff proves that the opinion was not honestly held by the defendant at the time the defamatory matter was published.

Innocent Dissemination

The statutory defence of innocent dissemination is modeled on the equivalent common law subordinate distributor defence. The common law defence has been relied upon by persons who are regarded as subordinate distributors of books or newspaper containing the defamatory material, such as newsagents, booksellers and libraries. The defence is available if the defendants can prove that they were not aware that the publication was defamatory, that this ignorance was not due to their own negligence and that there were no grounds for supposing that the publication was defamatory.

The Uniform Defamation Laws aim at achieving a balance between effective protection of persons whose reputations are harmed by the publication of defamatory matter, and the need to ensure that the law of defamation does not place unreasonable limits on freedom of expression and discussion of matters of public interest and importance.

Conclusion

Although the Uniform Defamation Laws in Australia are now essentially uniform, the existence of the separate jurisdictions, the increasing need for cross border publications, Internet and international publications and communications will make issues relating to, choice of law and choice of jurisdiction important concerns for parties in a defamation dispute.

Defamation Act Link

http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/da200599/

Defamation Lawyer

In this area of law Christopher Garlick has had a great deal of experience and his written submissions are very complex and detailed as well being known as a formidable opponent when on his feet in Court.

If you require the representation where your case is fully ventilated and all aspects presented without fear, then you are invited to consider Christopher Garlick to represent your client, or if a direct client, yourself.