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Are Juries Necessary? The Role of Juries in Defamation Trials

Precedent, No. 92, pp. 10-14, 2009

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/66

8 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2009  

David Rolph

The University of Sydney Law School

Abstract

In the last decade in New South Wales, there have been a number of challenges to 'unreasonable' jury verdicts. As a consequence, the role of juries in defamation trials has recently been questioned in some quarters. This paper argues that juries themselves are not the problem. Given the centrality of the 'ordinary, reasonable reader' to defamation law, juries, embodying the 'ordinary, reasonable reader', play an important role, representing community values and understanding in defamation litigation. Rather, the complex principles and procedures which have developed around defamation law are the real problem. The solution is not the abolition of juries but the reform of defamation law and practice.

Keywords: defamation, media law, juries, trials, 'ordinary, reasonable reader', Australia,New South Wales, law reform

JEL Classification: K10. K13, K30

Suggested Citation

Rolph, David, Are Juries Necessary? The Role of Juries in Defamation Trials. Precedent, No. 92, pp. 10-14, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/66. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1433123

David Rolph (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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