Statutory qualified privilege succeeds, but too early for the media to go 'dancing In the streets'

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Media and Arts Law Review, 2011, 16 (3), pp. 241 - 287
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The national uniform defamation legislation provides for a statutory qualified privilege defence which is basically a reincarnation of the old s 22 defence under the Defamation Act 1974 (NSW) (repealed), albeit with a few changes, The former 5 22 defence was notorious for its failure and genuine fears are held for the future of its progeny, especially if it is made to carry the burden of the restrictive 5 22 judicial interpretation. Contrary to expectations, however, the defence has managed to score at least five wins in defamation actions before superior courts in recent times. This sparks hope of a more productive life for the 5 30 defence in the uniform defamation era. But, closer analysiS of these decisions suggests that it may be too early for the media to take to the streets dancing just yet. Moreover, this small cluster of wins does not undermine the priority this defence deserves in the current 5 year review of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW).
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