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Reading the tealeaves

By Steven | June 9, 2009

I’ve just been watching argument in the Supreme Court in the Simunovich defamation case.

For those interested in the fairly arcane (but nevertheless quite significant) issues at stake, my sense is that the media don’t have the upper hand. The Supreme Court judges do not seem attracted to the idea that the media should be able to use information gathered on a privileged occasion (for example, fair and accurate reports of Parliament, or a judgment) to support a plea of truth, when the allegation is what’s called a “tier 2” imputation (that is, an allegation that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the plaintiff has done something disreputable). Nor did they seem very open to the alternative argument that the repetition rule doesn’t apply in these circumstances, or that some exception should be made to it, though they weren’t quite as hostile to this contention.

The case continues tomorrow.

Topics: Defamation | No Comments »


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