Reform ‘won’t fix defamation’

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Jul-20

Minter Ellison partner Peter Bartlett has questioned whether the proposed new defence for public interest journalism will be effective. It is based on a British provision that requires a journalist to prove that they reasonably believed that the publication of a statement was in the public interest. Bartlett warns that if the new defence is interpreted in the same way as the British defence, it is likely to have a similar impact as the existing defence of statutory qualified privilege, which has not been successfully used by the media. The Council of Attorneys-General will approve a model defamation bill on 27 July.

CORPORATES
MINTER ELLISON, AUSTRALIA. COUNCIL OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Lawyers unite to stop erosion of freedoms

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 4-Sep-19

The Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC’s Sydney offices and the home of a News Corp journalist continue to attract scrutiny. Law Council president Arthur Moses will use a National Press Club speech on 4 September to express concern that Australians’ rights and freedoms are being eroded in the interests of ensuring national security. Victorian Bar president Matt Collins will in turn urge changes to the nation’s defamation laws. The ABC and News Corp are expected to challenge the legality of the AFP raids under the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, VICTORIAN BAR INCORPORATED, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM

Security laws used to avoid scrutiny, say media bosses

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 27-Jun-19

News Corp Australasia chairman Michael Miller, Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks and ABC MD David Anderson jointly addressed the National Press Club on 26 June. They discussed issues such as the Australian Federal Police’s recent media raids, the impact of national security laws on freedom of the press and the public’s right to know, and the need for an overhaul of defamation laws. Miller suggested that the AFP raids on the ABC’s Sydney office and the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst constituted intimidation rather than investigation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Google’s plea for defamation shield

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 4 : 14-May-19

Changes are needed to Australia’s defamation laws to ensure that there is more protection for public-interest journalism, according to the Centre for Media at the University of Technology, Sydney. It made its call in a submission to the current review into defamation laws, which is being led by New South Wales Attorney-General Mark Speakman. In its submission to the review, Google stated that there need to be more protection for search engines when they are being sued for defamation for enabling access to third-party content.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Defamation laws need overhaul: judge

Original article by Marianna Papadakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 32 : 24-Jul-15

New South Wales District Court judge Judith Gibson notes that social media has contributed to a rise in defamation lawsuits in Australia. Justice Gibson says federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s case against Fairfax Media demonstrates the need for reforms to defamation laws. She argues that the definition of what constitutes a publication needs to be reconsidered in the digital age, while rules governing the awarding of damages need to be revised in order to discourage minor claims.

CORPORATES
DISTRICT COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, MINTER ELLISON, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, TWITTER INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

Gittany’s girlfriend sues after site claims she was a stripper

Original article by Michaela Whitbourn
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 8 : 29-Oct-14

A jury in the District Court of New South Wales will hear a defamation suit launched against news web site operator Daily Mail Australia. It is being brought by Rachelle Louise, the lover of convicted murderer Simon Gittany, over claims that she was the "world’s most deluded woman" and a former striptease artist. Barrister Roger Rasmussen is acting on behalf of Louise, who has been ordered by judge Judith Gibson to pay the Daily Mail Australia’s legal costs incurred for the preliminary hearing

CORPORATES
DAILY MAIL AND GENERAL TRUST PLC, DISTRICT COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Fairfax defence: Leighton consultancy deal ‘corrupt’

Original article by Leo Shanahan, Damon Kitney
The Australian – Page: 25 : 23-Jun-14

Fairfax Media is resorting to the defence of truth in the defamation law suit brought against it by ex-Leighton Holdings CEO Wal King. He objects to a series of articles published in 2013 that claimed he had knowledge of bribes paid to gain oil sector contracts in Iraq. The defence now mounted by Fairfax also alleges that corrupt and unethical conduct occurred when King sought to obtain a consultancy role worth $A5m from Leighton after he stepped down. The company maintains that no such agreement was in fact struck

CORPORATES
FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, LEIGHTON HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX LEI, UNAOIL GROUP, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES