High Court of Australia

Dow Jones & Company Inc v Gutnick [2002] HCA 56

210 CLR 575; 77 ALJR 255; 194 ALR 433

10 Dec 2002

Case Number: M3/2002


Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan JJ


Torts – Defamation – Publication – Internet – Computer server – Material complained of housed on computer server in United States of America – Uploaded to World Wide Web – Viewable at subscription news site on World Wide Web – Downloaded to computer in Victoria – Whether material complained of was published in Victoria.

Torts – Defamation – Publication – Single publication rule.

Private international law – Choice of law – Law of the place of the tort (lex loci delicti) – Defamation – Damage to reputation – Where material complained of was published – Material complained of made comprehensible when downloaded in Victoria – Place of plaintiff's reputation – Victorian law governs substantive rights.

Private international law – Service out of jurisdiction – Rules of Court – Service permitted without leave of Court – Conditions of service – Action brought in respect of tort committed in Victoria – Action brought in respect of damage suffered in Victoria – Action limited to damage to reputation in Victoria – Service validly effected – Victoria a convenient forum.

Words and Phrases – "publication", "single publication rule".

Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 1996 (Vic) – rr 7. 01(1)(i), 7. 01(1)(j) and 7. 05(2)(b).

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