High Court finalises Senator Hanson-Young’s defamation victory

On 17 June 2021, the High Court of Australia pronounced orders dismissing an application for special leave to appeal the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia dismissing an  appeal against the judgment in defamation Senator Sarah Hanson-Young obtained against former Senator David Leyonhjelm.

Sue Chrysanthou SC and Barry Dean from 153 Phillip acted for Senator Hanson-Young in responding to Mr Leyonhjelm’s application to the High Court for special leave.

On 25 November 2019 and 30 January 2020, Justice White of the Federal Court gave judgment for Senator Hanson-Young finding Mr Leyonhjelm had defamed her in publications on 28 and 29 June 2018, and on 1 and 2 July 2018, and awarded $125,000 in damages inclusive of interest.  Senator Hanson-Young was also awarded indemnity costs for the proceedings.

On 3 March 2021, the Full Court (Wigney and Abraham JJ, Rares J dissenting) dismissed Mr Leyonhjelm’s appeal from Justice White’s judgment.

Kieran Smark SC and Sue Chrysanthou from 153 Phillip acted for Senator Hanson-Young at trial before Justice White and on appeal to the Full Court.

153 Phillip congratulates Kieran Smark SC, Sue Chrysanthou SC and Barry Dean on this outcome.

Read the full judgments at trial and on appeal:

Hanson-Young v Leyonhjelm [2019] FCA 1981

Hanson-Young v Leyonhjelm [2020] FCA 34

Leyonhjelm v Hanson-Young [2021] FCAFC 22

Sue Chrysanthou and Barry Dean also appeared for Senator Hanson-Young on interlocutory judgments as previously reported:

Federal Court judgment: Hanson-Young v Leyonhjelm [2019] FCA 156

Federal Court judgment: Hanson-Young v Leyonhjelm [2018] FCA 1688

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