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The Evolution and Devolution of the Offer to make Amends Regime in Australian Defamation Law


Michael Douglas, Catherine Graville and Robyn Carroll

This article considers the development of the offer to make amends regime in Australian defamation law. It traces the evolution of the regime from the United Kingdom provisions that inspired piecemeal reform in Australia; to the 2005 model achieved by the so-called ‘Uniform Defamation Acts’; to the model created by 2021 amendments to the Model Defamation Provisions, now in force throughout much of Australia, which has altered the balance of the 2005 regime. While much of this development manifested an increasing concern by legislators to encourage parties to defamation disputes to resolve their differences without litigation, the 2021 amendments are perhaps distinguishable. This article analyses the new regime, arguing that it may lead to the protraction of defamation disputes and undermine the objects of the Uniform Defamation Acts.

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