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Twilight Webinar - Defamation Law Reform and the Review of Model Defamation Provisions


The Review of Model Defamation Provisions, which commenced in March 2018, has now progressed from submissions to the drafting of legislation. What are the principles and policies guiding the current defamation law reform discussion process, and what are the major problems? In particular:

  • How is the balance between reputation and freedom of speech to be managed in an online world where liability for publication now reaches beyond the traditional print and broadcast media and into the lives (and finances) of anyone who posts or tweets a comment?
  • How much of the problem is attributable to legislation and how much is attributable to judicial receptivity? Can “legal transplants” such as a “serious harm” threshold solve the problem of trivial defamations where the defence of unlikelihood of harm has failed? Equally, how can defamation law assist persons whose reputations have been unfairly damaged, whether by mass media or unknown social media publications, can have some form of effective redress?
  • Does online publication only pose a problem in relation to defamation law, or is this a wider issue for law reform generally?

Judge Judith Gibson

District Court of New South Wales

Judge Gibson, who has been Bulletin Author for Australian Defamation Law and Practice since 1993, was appointed Judge of the District Court of NSW in 2001. She has written a number of seminar papers and articles on defamation law issues, most recently for the Media and Arts Law Review (J C Gibson “Adapting defamation law reform to online publication” (2018) 22(2) MALR 119). She has written articles on social media and online publications, most recently for the International Journal for Court Administration (“Social Media and the Electronic “New World” of Judges” (2016) 7 IAWJ 1). She is a member of the Expert Panel advising the NSW Department of Justice concerning the Review of Model Defamation Provisions.


    This is a free, publicly available webinar. Please note, this webinar will be recorded.
    Join us on Thursday, 23 July, 5-6pm AEST