New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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DEFAMATION ACT 2005 - SECT 35
Damages for non-economic loss limited
35 Damages for non-economic loss limited
(1) Unless the court orders otherwise under subsection (2), the maximum amount
of damages for non-economic loss that may be awarded in defamation proceedings
is $250,000 or any other amount adjusted in accordance with this section from
time to time (the
"maximum damages amount" ) that is applicable at the time damages are awarded.
(2) A court may order a defendant in defamation proceedings to pay damages for
non-economic loss that exceed the maximum damages amount applicable at the
time the order is made if, and only if, the court is satisfied that the
circumstances of the publication of the defamatory matter to which the
proceedings relate are such as to warrant an award of aggravated damages.
The Minister is, on or before 1 July 2006 and on or before 1 July in each
succeeding year, to declare, by order published in the Gazette, the amount
that is to apply, as from the date specified in the order, for the purposes of
For orders under this subsection, see Gazettes No 84 of
30.6.2006, p 5043 (amount declared: $259,500); No 80 of 15.6.2007, p 3793
(amount declared: $267,500); No 72 of 20.6.2008, p 5482 (amount declared
$280,500); No 90 of 19.6.2009, p 3137 (amount declared: $294,500); No 79 of
18.6.2010, p 2452 (amount declared: $311,000); No 62 of 24.6.2011, p 4588
(amount declared: $324,000); No 60 of 8.6.2012, p 2369 (amount declared:
$339,000); No 65 of 31.5.2013, p 2307 ($355,500); No 52 of 26.6.2015, p 1928
(amount declared: $376,500); No 50 of 17.6.2016, p 1406 (amount declared:
$381,000); No 56 of 26.5.2017, p 1782 (amount declared: $389,500); No 66 of
29.6.2018, p 3970 (amount declared: $398,500); No 55 of 31.5.2019, p 1665
(amount declared: $407,500) and No 132 of 26.6.2020, p 3045 (amount declared:
(4) The amount declared is to be the amount applicable under
subsection (1) (or that amount as last adjusted under this section) adjusted
by the percentage change in the amount estimated by the Australian
Statistician of the average weekly total earnings of full-time adults in
Australia over the 4 quarters preceding the date of the declaration for which
those estimates are, at that date, available.
(5) An amount declared for the
time being under this section applies to the exclusion of the amount of
$250,000 or an amount previously adjusted under this section.
(6) If the
Australian Statistician fails or ceases to estimate the amount referred to in
subsection (4), the amount declared is to be determined in accordance with the
(7) In adjusting an amount to be declared for the purposes of
subsection (1), the amount determined in accordance with subsection (4) is to
be rounded to the nearest $500.
(8) A declaration made or published in the
Gazette after 1 July in a year and specifying a date that is before the date
it is made or published as the date from which the amount declared by the
order is to apply has effect as from that specified date.
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