Tan Li Lyn
Topic: Defamation: Privilege and other defenses (chapter 5), Question 1.
Assignment: Research essay
Defamation can ruin one’s reputation. It can cause harm such as financial loss and mental harm. Defamation law is “to protect the reputation of the person being defamed” (Walker 2000). There are three essential elements of defamation. Firstly, the statement must be defamatory in nature. The defamatory statement should be targeted to the reputation of the person defamed. A statement is considered as defamatory if it lowers the plaintiffs in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally. A defamatory statement would also cause the plaintiff to be shunned or avoided. Furthermore, it would also expose the plaintiff…show more content… This solution is to avoid litigation. The article involving the Government minister accused of accepting an overseas holiday with his mistress from a crime figure has already been published. Amendments can be offered to the aggrieved party. Fernandez (2013) suggests that an offer of amendments may include offers to publish an apology or an offer to pay compensation. However, this would not be the best solution in this case as the defamatory matters that were published are intentional. The Government Minister will not possibly accept offer of amendments as the defamatory action is already done and exposed to the public.
A second solution mentioned is to challenge claims by showing elements of a defamation act are not met. It is not possible to use this defense in this case. The three essential elements of a defamation act such as the identification of the plaintiff, publication and defamatory actions are all satisfied. The Government Minister has been identified and his actions of accepting an overseas holiday with his mistress from a crime figure has been exposed and published to the…show more content… In this case, the publisher has the qualified privilege to make a defamatory statement because it is a journalist’s duty to inform the public the truth. A journalist should also be loyal to its readers by speaking out. This defense is used in a case involving an action Muslim leader Keysar Trad brought against Sydney radio station 2GB, over remarks made by its host Alan Jones against him. The High Court upheld the defense of qualified privilege to protect Mr Jone’s defamatory statement as the High Court recognizes that public interest overrides the plaintiff’s interest in protecting his