Simple Questions, Difficult Juries: Perversity in Australian Defamation Trials after John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd v Rivkin
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
January 13, 2009
Commercial Law Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 9-20, 2004
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/02
This article examines the recent trend in "perverse" or unreasonable jury verdicts in New South Wales defamation trials and the resulting, increased level of appellate intervention. It does so particularly in light of the High Court of Australia's decision in John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd v Rivkin (2003) 201 ALR 77; (2003) 77 ALJR 1577; (2003) Aust Torts Reports para.81-711. It canvasses the applicable test for appellate interference with a jury verdict and analyses the decisive shift away from a discourse based on "perversity" to one based on unreasonableness. It analyses the implications of Fairfax v Rivkin for future challenges to jury verdicts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Defamation, Australia, New South Wales, Juries, Verdicts, Trials, Unreasonableness, Perversity
JEL Classification: K10, K13, K30
Date posted: January 15, 2009 ; Last revised: January 23, 2009
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