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NSW Attorney-General’s plan to change the ‘defamation capital of the world’

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman is backing the introduction of reforms to bring defamation into the digital age.

Mr Speakman is considering reforms such as introducing a once only defamation rule for pieces published online.

Currently, every time something is downloaded off the internet and is classified as defamatory it can be brought before the court multiple times.

Other reforms would include caps on damages and a stronger public interest defence.

It comes after Attorney-General Christian Porter said social media platforms should be treated the same as traditional publishers under defamation law.

Mr Speakman tells Ross Greenwood there needs to be a uniform law.

“Even newspapers cross state boundaries. Google, Facebook, the internet, you can search it anywhere in the world so it’s got to be uniform across Australia otherwise it would just be a complete mess.

“Sydney is the defamation capital of the world, we have something like 10 times as many lawsuits for defamation in Sydney, per head, as the UK.”

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