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

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