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Mark Latham responds as his ‘extraordinary’ defamation defence is struck out

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Mark Latham will appeal a Federal Court decision ordering him to file a new defence in a defamation case, after the judge labelled his documents “extraordinary”.

The former Labor leader is fighting a suit brought against him by the former editor of pop culture site Junkee and a former Greens candidate Osman Faruqi, who is accusing Mr Latham of inferring that he encourages anti-white-racism in Australia.

Justice Michael Wigney struck out the former Labor leader’s written 76-page defence, labelling parts of it “frivolous and vexatious” and admitting it was “no mean feat” to try to come to grips with the document.

Wigney described Latham’s defence document as “extraordinary” because it had 12 parts, nine schedules and included a dictionary, which featured “amongst other things, a dramatis personae … references to ‘internet terminology’, and a description of certain ‘Islamic terrorist atrocities'”.

When handing down his decision Justice Wigney said “it may readily be accepted” that some people may disagree with the views Faruqi expressed in tweets, many of which were “plainly intended to be little more than a humorous or satirical commentary”, while other people “may, perhaps with some justification, consider some of the tweets to be rather puerile, shallow, trite or even hackneyed”.

“But really, what does one expect from Twitter, or social media generally; deep, insightful analysis?” Justice Wigney said.

When talking with Ben Fordham, Mr Latham was quite surprised over Justice Wigney’s views on social media saying “so it’s sort of a message to me… don’t take it seriously, don’t worry about it.”

“I will be appealing on the basis it’s not funny, it’s wrong and it must be brought to account,” Mr Latham tells Ben.

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