THE TASMANIAN COMMITTEE
The end of uniform defamation laws?
Tasmania could become the first state or territory in Australia to allow companies to sue for defamation with the state government intending to introduce legislation to protect business from ‘misleading and dishonest campaigns’. Under the proposed changes, which the government took to the 2014 election, Tasmania would move away from nationally uniform laws by allowing corporations with more than 10 employees to pursue an action in defamation against individuals and groups alleged to have spread false and misleading information. The proposal has been attacked by the Law Society of Tasmania, Civil Liberties Australia and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance as likely to stifle free speech, have ramifications for social media users and risk Tasmania becoming the site of national lawsuits. A public consultation process is likely with the Attorney-General vowing to first take the proposal to the national Law, Crime and Community Safety Council in May 2015.
STOP PRESS In early February 2015, the Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin announced that the proposed changes to defamation law will not proceed after discussions with Attorneys-General from other jurisdictions, and community concern.
- Category: DUAO - 2015 - Vol 40(1)