New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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DEFAMATION ACT 2005 - SECT 30
Defence of qualified privilege for provision of certain information
30 Defence of qualified privilege for provision of certain information
(1) There is a defence of qualified privilege for the publication of
defamatory matter to a person (the
"recipient" ) if the defendant proves that--
(a) the recipient has an interest
or apparent interest in having information on some subject, and
matter is published to the recipient in the course of giving to the recipient
information on that subject, and
(c) the conduct of the defendant in
publishing that matter is reasonable in the circumstances.
(2) For the
purposes of subsection (1), a recipient has an apparent interest in having
information on some subject if, and only if, at the time of the publication in
question, the defendant believes on reasonable grounds that the recipient has
(3) In determining for the purposes of subsection (1) whether
the conduct of the defendant in publishing matter about a person is reasonable
in the circumstances, a court may take into account the following factors to
the extent the court considers them applicable in the circumstances--
seriousness of any defamatory imputation carried by the matter published,
the extent to which the matter published distinguishes between suspicions,
allegations and proven facts,
(c) the nature of the business environment in
which the defendant operates,
(d) whether it was appropriate in the
circumstances for the matter to be published expeditiously,
(e) any other
steps taken to verify the information in the matter published.
Subsection (3) does not--
(a) require each factor referred to in the
subsection to be taken into account, or
(b) limit the matters that the court
may take into account.
(3B) It is not necessary to prove that the matter
published concerned an issue of public interest to establish the defence of
qualified privilege under subsection (1).
(4) For the avoidance of doubt, a
defence of qualified privilege under subsection (1) is defeated if the
plaintiff proves that the publication of the defamatory matter was actuated by
(5) However, a defence of qualified privilege under subsection (1) is
not defeated merely because the defamatory matter was published for reward.
(6) Without affecting the application of section 22 to other defences, the
jury (and not the judicial officer) in defamation proceedings tried by jury is
to determine whether a defence under this section is established.
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