Sydney Law Review, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 263-280, 2002
17 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007
The challenges posed by internet defamation have been the subject of few decisions by ultimate appellate courts. One of the few, and the first, was the High Court of Australia's decision in Dow Jones & Co. Inc. v Gutnick (2002) 210 CLR 575. This article canvasses the issues central to the appeal: the meaning of the term, 'publication', in defamation law; the place of publication; the power to exercise jurisdiction over a matter and the discretionary non-exercise of jurisdiction; the impact of the unique characteristics of the internet and the desirability of technology-specific rules and principles; and other policy considerations surrounding this vexed area of law, such as the impact of globalisation; the need for certainty; freedom of expression; the need to give due recognition to foreign legal systems; the legitimate interests of plaintiffs and defendants; and the existing, practical solutions to problems posed by multistate defamation.
Keywords: Defamation, Private international law, Internet; Publication, Jurisdiction, Forum non conveniens, Dow Jones v Gutnick, Globalisation, Freedom of expression
JEL Classification: K10, K33, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Rolph, David, The Message, Not the Medium: Defamation, Publication and the Internet in Dow Jones & Co Inc v Gutnick. ; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/48. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1000090