Freedom of Speech and Defamation: Developments in the Common Law World
Monash University Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2000
17 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 24, 2010
This comment traces the relationship between freedom of speech and the common law of defamation in India, Australia, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. A central theme is the treatment of the iconic decision of the United States Supreme Court in New York Times v Sullivan. This comment shows that while the use of foreign precedent by judges in common law countries is widespread, the use of such precedent is, in the main, not uncritical. The reaction of common law courts to New York Times signals that these courts will usually reassess and exercise their own judgment in relation to even the most revered aspects of the American constitutional tradition.
Keywords: defamation, freedom of expression, New York Times v Sullivan, Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, comparative constitutional law
JEL Classification: K00, K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation