High Court of Australia

Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd v Chesterton [2009] HCA 16

238 CLR 460; 83 ALJR 654; 254 ALR 606

22 Apr 2009

Case Number: S474/2008

Before

French CJ, Gummow, Heydon, Kiefel, Bell JJ

Catchwords

Defamation – Statements amounting to defamation - Test to be applied in determining what is defamatory - Whether general test has application to imputations concerning business or professional reputation - Whether general test limited to imputations concerning character or conduct - Distinction between defamation and injurious falsehood - Gacic v John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd (2006) 66 NSWLR 675 considered.

Defamation – Statements amounting to defamation - Standards by which allegedly defamatory imputations to be judged - Distinction between general test for defamation and standards to be applied - Standards imported by describing hypothetical referees of whether person defamed as "right-thinking" - Relevance and applicability of general community standards.

Defamation – Statements amounting to defamation - Standards by which allegedly defamatory imputations to be judged - Whether in cases concerning business or professional reputation hypothetical referees assumed to have special knowledge of business or profession - When plea of true innuendo appropriate.

Defamation – Statements amounting to defamation - Test to be applied in determining what is defamatory - Whether jury misdirected - Whether substantial wrong or miscarriage occurred.

Words and phrases – "business defamation", "general community standards", "hypothetical referee", "ordinary decent person", "ordinary reasonable person", "reputation", "right-thinking", "true innuendo".

Defamation Act 1974 (NSW) – s 4(2).

Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) – s 6(2).

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) – r 51. 53(1).

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