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Jones wins defamation damages of $104,000

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Bob Jones won $104,000 in his defamation case against Chris Lee. I don’t know much about the case, but on this report it illustrates some good lessons: an apology in time can avert an expensive and risky court battle; both sides’ costs probably exceeded the damages award (though such actions are cheap compared with costs […]

Talkin’ bout a revolution

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Check out this fascinating panel discussion about super injunctions and the laws of libel and privacy, hosted by the Frontline Club, involving successful defamation defendant Simon Singh, Carter-Ruck’s Nigel Tait, the Guardian’s investigations editor David Leigh, and media lawyer David Hooper. The debate comes amid British government proposals for libel reform (not enacted in time […]

Fair comment defence succeeds

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

The Simon Singh fair comment appeal has been released. He’s the guy who said of the British Chiropractic Association that it “happily promotes bogus treatments”. Did this accuse them of conscious dishonesty? Eady J said yes, and it was a statement of fact. There was much hue and cry about the death of free speech. […]

New media law blog

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Check out Inforrm’s terrific blog here. Inforrm stands for “International Forum for Responsible Media”. It contains thoughtful commentary about media law issues, a useful blogroll, and a note of significant new and upcoming cases. Its lead today notes what I’ve been meaning to do for a while: that the evidence that the rest of the […]

UK Parliamentary committee recommends reform of media regulation

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The British Culture, Media and Sport Committee has released its report into press standards, privacy and libel. Recommendations: Privacy tort: No change. In particular, no legal requirement for the media to give notice to people who’s privacy they’re about to invade in an upcoming story, though a failure to provide such notice should hike any […]

Defamation claimant bombs

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Brady Errol Chadwick has suffered a setback in his defamation claim against the Dominion Post. He has been ordered to pay $10,000 security for costs, which means that it’s unlikely his case will progress. This will be a relief to Fairfax since it’s not at all clear the media organisation would have been able to […]

Chasing Ali

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The latest development in the Alison Mau saga reads like a media law exam question. On Breakfast TV she took a swipe at Woman’s Day, saying its “paparazzi photographer has been stalking me, my children and my friends for a month now, quite possibly more, following me to the supermarket, the kids’ tennis and touch […]

Another interesting thing about the Terry case

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Look at the standard the judge applies to the injunction: the rule in Bonnard v Perryman. This is a famous case that sets the bar very high in defamation cases. Bonnard holds that no pre-trial injunction will be granted in a defamation case unless it’s entirely clear that no defence might apply. In practice, this […]

Simunovich case settled

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The long-running high-stakes defamation battle over the media’s allegations about corruption in the fishing industry has been settled, at least with respect to some of the plaintiffs, with a payment of damages and an apology. Vince Siemer puts the settlement figure at $15 million. Stuff reports TVNZ says it’s about $1.5 million, which strikes me […]

New Canadian responsible journalism defamation defence

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The Canadian Supreme Court has followed most of the rest of the common law world in┬ádeveloping a privilege to publish information in the public interest, providing the publication was “responsible”. Both are elements for the defence to prove. It’s broadly similar to the UK defence in Reynolds – so it’s wider than the current versions […]

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