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Osmose part-settled

By Steven | February 14, 2008

You might remember that the Osmose defamation case in the High Court appeared to revolutionise the defence of qualified privilege: opening it up to all stories about matters of public interest, not just those about politicians, and making it easier for journalists to show they’d acted responsibly (a condition of the defence). The case was appealed to the Court of Appeal. I gather that the suits against the media (TVNZ and Fairfax papers) have been settled. So whatever happens to Osmose’s claims against Nick Smith and Dr Robert Wakeling, the High Court decision looks likely to remain the latest word on qualified privilege as it applies to the media. (For my part, I think it would be dangerous to assume that these new principles will survive Court of Appeal scrutiny in the future, particularly the lowering of the threshold for responsible journalism).

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