Steven Price

My book

Media Minefield


Guide to NZ Media Law

Official Information Act

Official Information Act


Bill of Rights Act

Media law resources

Feeds (RSS)


« | Main | »

Supreme Court to hear defamation case

By Steven | December 1, 2008

The sprawling trawling case is off to the Supreme Court. It’s pretty much for defamation train-spotters only – the appeal concerns pre-trial skirmishes about points of pleading (listed below). But these issues matter quite a lot, as they set the boundaries for the arguments and evidence that can be advanced in an attemtpt to establish the defences of truth and honest opinion.

There’s one particularly fascinating question in play (and it relatees to many of the issues listed below). When someone makes an allegation that there are “reasonable grounds to suspect that X has done Y horrible thing” – is it going to be enough to show that reliable-person-Z said that X had done Y horrible thing? On the one hand, shouldn’t a news outlet be able to rely on reliable-person-Z (who might have been a judge making findings in a court decision, or an inquiry making findings after an investigation) in publishing that allegation, and in showing it to be true? The news outlet isn’t, after all, saying that X actually did Y horrible thing.

On the other hand, one of the most basic principles of defamation law is that if you repeat someone else’s smear, you’re liable for proving the truth of it – you can’t defend yourself simply by saying that Z thought it was true. The Court of Appeal has gone with this view. The media will be pitching in behind the other one. It’s as important a media law case as has yet hit the Supreme Court, I think.

Issues accepted for hearing by the Supreme Court:

(1) That s 38 of the Defamation Act 1992 applies to a stand-alone defence of truth.

(2) That in pleading “circumstances” in support of a truth defence pursuant to s 38(b), a defendant may not rely on the fact that third parties made statements.

(3) That the “repetition” and “conduct” rules apply to pleadings of truth to “tier 2” imputations.

(4) That the “repetition rule” applies not only at an evidential stage but at the pleading stage of a proceeding.

(5) That there is no exception to the “repetition rule” for reliance on judicial decisions in support of a pleading of truth to a “tier 2” imputation.

(6) That the position is not affected by the changes to the treatment of hearsay evidence brought about by the Evidence Act 2006.

(7) Regarding matters which the appellant may not plead as part of its truth defence.

(8) That a defendant may not plead in support of an honest opinion defence the fact that third parties made statements.

(9) That the repetition and conduct pleading rules adopted in the United Kingdom jurisdiction, apply without modification, to a truth defence to “tier 2” meanings which impute only that there are reasonable grounds to suspect the plaintiffs rather than that the plaintiffs are guilty.

(10) That accordingly a defendant may not seek to prove the truth of “tier 2” imputation by reference to the opinions or assertions of others.

(11) That the phrase “facts and circumstances” in s 38 of the Defamation Act 1992 does not mean that the third party assertions or opinions may be pleaded since they are not capable in law of establishing a defence of truth by virtue of the repetition and conduct rules.

(12) That judicial decisions and opinions do not fall outside the repetition and conduct rules, are not primary facts for the purposes of the law of defamation, and may not be relied on as evidence of facts in issue by virtue of s 50 of the Evidence Act 2006.

(13) That third party assertions, opinions and judicial decisions may not be relied on as publication of facts on which a defence of honest opinion is based.

Topics: Defamation | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Supreme Court to hear defamation case”

  1. ross Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Who claims to have been defamed and what are the allegedly defamatory comments?

  2. Steven Says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Belated response: it’s the Simunovich fisheries case, and you’ll have to read the judgment. It’s too complex to go into much here. In short, Simunovich alleges TVNZ and APN wrongly accused it of corruption and/or dishonesty in relation to scampi fishing rights.

  3. DMPK Says:
    October 2nd, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Read More Infos here|Here you can find 75797 more Infos|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  4. Hyderabad Event Managers Says:
    November 20th, 2017 at 5:32 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Read More Informations here|There you will find 83359 more Informations|Informations on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  5. sscn bkn cpns 2018 Says:
    November 21st, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Informations here|There you will find 35039 additional Informations|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  6. colarts Diyala44 Says:
    December 12th, 2017 at 11:03 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|Here you will find 22416 additional Infos|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  7. Pharmacokinetic Services Says:
    January 4th, 2018 at 4:48 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Infos here|There you will find 48421 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  8. top real estate agents Says:
    January 15th, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on|Find More|Find More Infos here|There you will find 56854 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  9. beasiswa universitas brawijaya 2018 Says:
    January 26th, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Infos here|Here you will find 11821 additional Infos|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  10. köpa Viagra Says:
    February 5th, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Informations here|Here you will find 83663 more Informations|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  11. Mt ea Says:
    February 12th, 2018 at 3:02 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Read More Infos here|There you will find 76821 more Infos|Informations on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  12. ___* Says:
    March 13th, 2018 at 11:38 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Read More Informations here|There you will find 70826 additional Informations|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  13. Digital Marketing Solutions from Tree of Innovation Says:
    March 28th, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Read More Infos here|There you can find 94988 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  14. 바카라후기 Says:
    April 5th, 2018 at 11:12 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Find More Informations here|There you will find 75911 more Informations|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  15. Replica Watches Says:
    April 19th, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Read More Informations here|Here you can find 9911 additional Informations|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  16. Nikola Moraca Says:
    April 23rd, 2018 at 9:39 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Infos here|There you can find 2863 additional Infos|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  17. www.officialtime.in Says:
    April 27th, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Read More Informations here|Here you can find 36368 additional Informations|Informations to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  18. tutorial Says:
    May 12th, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Informations here|Here you can find 2733 additional Informations|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  19. free forex signals Says:
    May 20th, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Informations here|Here you can find 62693 additional Informations|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  20. Ryg– led problemer Says:
    June 3rd, 2018 at 3:12 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Infos here|There you will find 10437 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  21. audible how many books per month Says:
    June 4th, 2018 at 6:08 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on|Find More|Read More Infos here|There you can find 56620 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  22. كلية التربية Says:
    June 5th, 2018 at 10:39 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Infos here|Here you can find 11698 more Infos|Infos to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  23. sbobet the gioi co bac Says:
    June 12th, 2018 at 1:00 am

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on|Find More|Read More Informations here|There you will find 23406 more Informations|Informations to that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

  24. science Says:
    June 14th, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on|Find More|Find More Informations here|Here you will find 78547 additional Informations|Informations on that Topic: medialawjournal.co.nz/?p=197 […]

Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.