A ‘Serious’ Response to Trivial Defamation Claims: An Examination of S 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 (UK) from an Australian Perspective
(2015) 20 Media and Arts Law Review
39 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2016
Date Written: 2015
This article describes the reforms instituted by s 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 (UK). It tracks the common law developments leading to the enactment of s 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 (UK), focussing on the principles established in Jameel v Dow Jones1 and Thornton v Telegraph Media Group.
Defamation Act 2013 (UK) s 1(1) is then contrasted with the Australian triviality defence, noting their differences in practice. In particular, it is asserted that the Australian triviality defence sets an excessively onerous burden on defendants in defamation actions, fails to give sufficient regard to out-of-court dispute resolution, and can generate procedural inefficiencies due to its consideration in the latter stages of a trial. Ultimately, it is argued that a legislative threshold test for triviality, such as that which is contained in the Defamation Act 2013 (UK) s 1(1), would make a positive contribution to Australian defamation procedure.
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