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Defamation Actions and Australian Politics


Michael Douglas

In recent years, politicians have been frequent participants in Australian defamation litigation. Attorney-General Christian Porter’s recent claim against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and journalist Louise Milligan is a notable example of the weaponisation of defamation in Australian politics. This article reviews prominent examples of where politicians have commenced or threatened defamation proceedings. The article also considers whether the trend of politicians litigating defamation is desirable, and how it will be affected by the amendment of the Uniform Defamation Acts once the Model Defamation Amendment Provisions 2020 are implemented.

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