Defamation

Reference received: 29 June 1966

Report

Report 11: Defamation [PDF, 441Kb], February 1971

Tabled in parliament: 20 April 1971

Legislative action: Defamation Act 1974

Judicial citation: Calwell v Ipec Australia Ltd [1973] 1 NSWLR 550, 560; Morosi v Mirror Newspapers Ltd [1977] 2 NSWLR 749, 805; Petritsis v Hellenic Herald Pty Ltd [1978] 2 NSWLR 174, 185; Monie v Mirror Newspapers Ltd [1979] 2 NSWLR 663, 676; Andrews v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd [1980] 2 NSWLR 225, 240; Humphreys v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd (NSW SC, No 15205/78, Hunt J, 18 April 1980, unreported), [7]; Bickel v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd [1981] 2 NSWLR 474, 496; Singleton v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd [1982] 2 NSWLR 38, 42; Hawke v Tamworth Newspaper Co Ltd [1983] 1 NSWLR 699, 717; Spautz v Williams [1983] 2 NSWLR 506, 528; Tarkanyi v Mirror Newspapers Ltd [1983] 2 NSWLR 698, 701; Seidler v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd (NSW SC, No S15860/82, Hunt J, 8 April 1983, unreported), [4]; Cassell v Gold Coast Publications Pty Ltd [1984] 1 NSWLR 11, 12; Mirror Newspapers Ltd v Fitzpatrick [1984] 1 NSWLR 643, 649; David Syme & Co Ltd v Lloyd [1984] 3 NSWLR 346, 354; Barbaro v Amalgamated Television Services Pty Ltd (1985) 1 NSWLR 30, 35; Bob Kay Real Estate Pty Ltd v Amalgamated Television Services Pty Ltd (1985) 1 NSWLR 505, 510; Krahe v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd (1986) 4 NSWLR 536, 541; Rajski v Carson (1986) 4 NSWLR 735, 743; Palmer v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd (1986) 5 NSWLR 727, 730; Pollack v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd (NSW SC, Hunt J, 3 June 1987, unreported), [1]; Waterhouse v Gilmore (1988) 12 NSWLR 270, 281; Crawford v Amalgamated Television Services Pty Ltd (1989) ADefR 50-040, [5]; Bond Corporation Holdings Ltd v Australian Broadcasting Commission (NSW CA, No 40031/1989, 28 June 1989, unreported), 9 (Samuels JA); Morgan v John Fairfax and Sons (1990) 20 NSWLR 511, 538; Spautz v Kirby (1990) 21 NSWLR 34, 35; Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Waterhouse (1991) 25 NSWLR 519, 524; ​Jones v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd (1992) 26 NSWLR 732; Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd v Parker (1992) 29 NSWLR 448, 467; Grassby v R (1992) 62 A Crim R 351, 355; Ballina Shire Council v Ringland (1994) 33 NSWLR 680; Waterhouse v Hickie [1995] AustTortsR 81-347 [2] (Priestley JA); Perkins v Harris (NSW CA, No 40385/94, 26 May 1995, unreported) [2] (Priestley JA);  Thompson v Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd (1996) 186 CLR 574, 587, 598 (Brennan CJ, Toohey J and Dawson J); Stead v Foster (NSW SC, No 19932/93, Levine J, 4 September 1998, unreported) [12] Palmer v Belan[1999] NSWSC 187 [253]; Hall v Hannaford [1999] NSWSC 1197; Lange v Atkinson[2000] 3 NZLR 385 [53], [57]; Goold v Newcastle Newspapers Pty Ltd [2000] NSWSC 133 [9]; Greek Herald Pty Ltd v Nikolopoulos(2002) 54 NSWLR 165 [14]; O'Shane v Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd[2002] NSWSC 807 [11]; Rogers v Nationwide News Pty Ltd(2003) 77 ALJR 1739 [21], [149]; Bashford v Information Australia (Newsletters) Pty Ltd [2004] HCA 5; Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Sleeman[2005] NSWCA 349 [52]; Waters v John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd[2005] NSWSC 394; John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd v Hitchcock[2007] NSWCA 364 [199]; Lindholdt v Hyer[2008] NSWCA 264 [111] [112]; Buckley v The Herald and Weekly Times (No 2 [2008] VSC 475 [14];   Habib v Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd[2009] NSWCA 231 [40]-[41], [116]; Born Brands Pty Ltd v Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd (No 4) [2013] NSWSC 1649 [18]; Crosby v Kelly [2013] FCA 1343 [18]                                         

Working paper 1

Working Paper 1: Defamation, September 1968

Terms of reference

To review the law and practices of the Courts in relation to libel and slander; and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to enquire into the extent to which the law and the practices of the Courts as at present existing in respect of Contempt, Libel and similar legislation hamper the Press in publishing facts of public interest and in editorially commenting thereon within the limit of what is necessary for the protection of the liberty of the subject and the security of the State.

​Note: See Reference 82 - Defamation for a subsequent review of the law of defamation