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Do I have a defamation case in QLD?

You may have heard the term “defamation” in the news headlines recently concerning an article that the ABC published about former attorney-General Christian Porter. At the time of posting this blog Christian Porter has withdrawn his claim against the ABC.

So, what is defamation?

Broadly speaking, defamation involves the communication or publication of information to a third party which causes damage to reputation. The communication or publication must concern or identify the aggrieved party and must be made without lawful excuse.

 There are numerous defences to defamation, including but not limited to justification (i.e. the statement is substantially true), honest opinion (it was a statement of opinion rather than fact) and triviality (meaning the aggrieved party is unlikely to sustain any harm).

You need to be aware that the channels for communication or publication of defamatory content are extremely wide and can include various forms of traditional writing (e.g. reports, articles, advertisements, letters), spoken words, pictures or cartoons, text messages and social media posts, to name a few.

 We often see cases of defamation via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and we urge caution to our clients when making a decision to post potentially damaging information about another party online that could be considered defamatory.

If you think you may have been defamed or if you are being accused of defamation, please do not hesitate to contact McLaughlins Lawyers on (07) 5591 5099 and speak to one of our litigation lawyers today.


Author: Alex Hamlyn

Directors: Ian Kennedy and Sophie Pearson

Date:   1 July 2021

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