Movie Star Wars: Bauer Media Strikes Back, or a Lost Hope?

(2018) 29(8) Entertainment Law Review 265

8 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018

See all articles by David Rolph

David Rolph

The University of Sydney Law School

Michael Douglas

The University of Western Australia Law School

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Until set aside on appeal, the award of damages ordered by the Supreme Court of Victoria in Rebel Wilson's proceedings against Bauer Media was the largest defamation payout in Australian legal history. The Victorian Court of Appeal's recent decision to reduce Wilson's award of damages is significant not only for depriving the comedian and actress of this record sum. The judgment raises important issues about the assessment of aggravated damages for defamation; the proper interpretation of the statutory cap on damages for non-economic loss under Australian law; and the availability of damages for economic loss calculated on the basis of loss of opportunity but equally the difficulty of proving such losses are causally connected to a defamatory publication. This article analyses the Victorian Court of Appeal's decision in Bauer Media Pty Ltd v Wilson [No. 2] [2018] VSCA 154, assessing its implications for the development of Australian defamation law.

Keywords: Torts, Defamation, Damages, Aggravated Damages, Causation, Economic Loss, Rebel Wilson, Media Law

Suggested Citation

Rolph, David and Douglas, Michael, Movie Star Wars: Bauer Media Strikes Back, or a Lost Hope? (2018). (2018) 29(8) Entertainment Law Review 265. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285857

David Rolph

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

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

Michael Douglas (Contact Author)

The University of Western Australia Law School ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/person/michael.c.douglas

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