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
(b) the 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 that interest.
(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--
(a) the extent to which the matter published is of public interest, and
(b) the extent to which the matter published relates to the performance of the public functions or activities of the person, and
(c) the seriousness of any defamatory imputation carried by the matter published, and
(d) the extent to which the matter published distinguishes between suspicions, allegations and proven facts, and
(e) whether it was in the public interest in the circumstances for the matter published to be published expeditiously, and
(f) the nature of the business environment in which the defendant operates, and
(g) the sources of the information in the matter published and the integrity of those sources, and
(h) whether the matter published contained the substance of the person's side of the story and, if not, whether a reasonable attempt was made by the defendant to obtain and publish a response from the person, and
(i) any other steps taken to verify the information in the matter published, and
(j) any other circumstances that the court considers relevant.
(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 malice.
(5) However, a defence of qualified privilege under subsection (1) is not defeated merely because the defamatory matter was published for reward.



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