Defamation Reform in NSW

On 6 August 2020, NSW Parliament became the first jurisdiction in Australia to legislate new Australian Model Defamation Provisions, which were amended on the 27 July 2020 by the Council of Attorneys-General.

The Defamation Amendment Bill 2020 (NSW) introduces significant changes to defamation law in NSW.

The changes include measures aimed at enabling responsible journalism, modernising defamation laws in line with developments in digital publishing, reducing the volume of minor defamation litigation, and capping the size of potential damages awards.

On 31 August 2020, the New South Wales attorney general, Mark Speakman, said in a speech attended by McAuley Hawach Lawyers, that his government is prepared to move before all other states and territories have passed legislation.

He said his intention was to wait for a “critical mass” to be ready.

Bernard McAuley

McAuley Hawach Lawyers

11 Fennell Street, Parramatta NSW 2124

Telephone: (02) 9633 1826

Facsimile: (02) 9687 8114 (02) 9687 8114



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