Andrew Laming defamation case settles with apology from Nine

153 Phillip Barristers congratulate Sue Chrysanthou SC and Barry Dean on successfully settling the defamation case for former Federal MP Dr Andrew Laming. Channel 9 have given an unreserved apology and accept that the allegations in relation to the photograph were wrong. Please see the following articles below: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-14/nine-apologises-to-andrew-laming-in-defamation-case/101437138 https://www.smh.com.au/national/nine-apologises-to-andrew-laming-in-settlement-of-defamation-suit-20220914-p5bhw7.html

Federal Court defamation win against Daily Mail Australia

153 Phillip congratulates Kieran Smark SC who successfully acted for Journalist and commentator Erin Molan. On 30 August 2022, Justice Bromwich of the Federal Court found the online news publication defamed her by alleging she was racist in an online article. Ms Molan was awarded $150,000 plus interest in damages, including aggravated damages. Link to judgement below: Molan v Dailymail.com Australia Pty Ltd [2022] FCA 1004

2022 Canberra Writers Festival

On 12 August 2022, Richard Potter joined a panel of speakers at the Canberra Writers Festival in a session titled ‘So Sue me!’ along with journalists Karen Middleton, Louise Milligan, Ginger Gorman and Michael West. Topics included the new public interest defence based on the existing UK defence, the new serious harm threshold and journalists’ experience of the pre publication legalling process and dealing with Concerns Notices.

Full Court allows appeal – overturns judgment that Commonwealth Minister defamed in tweet

On 17 May 2022, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia delivered judgment (Bazzi v Dutton [2022] FCAFC 84) allowing an appeal Shane Bazzi brought against a defamation judgment Commonwealth Defence Minister Peter Dutton had obtained against him for posting a tweet.  Peter Gray SC and Barry Dean, from 153 Phillip, appeared for Shane Bazzi in his successful appeal. Richard Potter SC, also from 153 Phillip, appeared with Barry Dean at trial. The Full Court (Rares, Rangiah and Wigney JJ) unanimously allowed the appeal finding that Mr Bazzi’s tweet did not carry the pleaded meaning Mr Dutton contended, and accordingly dismissed Mr Dutton’s claim.  The judgment is one of the first appellate considerations in Australia of defamatory meaning on social media and follows Peter Gray SC and Richard Potter SC’s involvement in the Voller litigation for the plaintiff. Read the Judgement here

Full Court allows appeal – overturns judgment dismissing Doctors’ claim that Book was defamatory

On 29 April 2022, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (Rares, Wigney and Lee JJ) delivered judgment (Herron v HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd  [2022] FCAFC 68) allowing an appeal Dr John Gill brought against a judgment of the Court dismissing his and John Herron’s claims the book “Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia” defamed them. Sue Chrysanthou SC and Barry Dean, from 153 Phillip, appeared as part of the successful legal team led by Bret Walker SC on appeal, and also appeared as counsel at trial. The Full Court unanimously allowed the appeal finding that each of the pleaded meanings were carried, the publisher s30 defence was not made out, and the justification defence miscarried.  The judgment is one of the first considered appellate considerations in Australia of the operation of s 10 of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) when a party dies during an appeal.  The Full Court found that Dr Gill who had undertaken to pay the costs awarded against John Herron at first instance was entitled to press his deceased appellant’s appeal to vindicate his position on costs. Read the full judgment here

Kieran Smark SC named as leading Defamation and Media Lawyer

Kieran Smark SC has been acknowledged as this year’s leading Defamation and Media Lawyer in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in Australia.  Congratulations Kieran.