High Court of Australia

Papaconstuntinos v Holmes a Court [2012] HCA 53

249 CLR 534; 87 ALJR 110; 293 ALR 215

5 Dec 2012

Case Number: S319/2011


French CJ, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ


Defamation – Defences – Common law defence of qualified privilege – Respondent involved in proposal to invest funds in football club – Appellant was board member of affiliated club – Appellant opposed proposal – Respondent sent letter to appellant's employer conveying imputations defamatory of appellant – Defamatory statements made voluntarily and in protection of personal interests – Whether defence of qualified privilege required respondent to show "pressing need" to protect interests – Whether "pressing need" to be adjudged by reference to test of "reasonable necessity" – Consideration of Bashford v Information Australia (Newsletters) Pty Ltd (2004) 218 CLR 366.

Words and phrases – "community of interest", "fairly warranted by any reasonable occasion or exigency", "pressing need", "qualified privilege", "reasonable necessity".

Defamation Act 2005 (NSW) – ss 6(2), 24.

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