The Third Man – Reform of the Australasian Defamation Defences plots an entirely new course for defamation law reform and in doing so provides a detailed analysis of the current Australasian defences.
Its starting point is the recognition that a cause of action in defamation presupposes the existence of at least three people: a plaintiff; a defendant; and a person to whom the defamatory material is published (the “Third Man” of the title, which was inspired by Carol Reed’s 1949 film masterpiece of the same name).
The central thesis of the book is that many of the intractable problems apparent in the current defensive regime disappear if the focus is changed to take account of the legitimate interests of the recipients of defamatory publications.
The first two chapters set out powerful arguments for the acceptance of this third man principle. The following six contain a searching evaluation of the current Australasian defences by reference to this principle.
Each treatment of an existing area of defence concludes by proposing draft model provisions designed to satisfy the third man principle. The threads of these individual proposals are woven together into a single, cohesive fabric – model Part Z – in the final chapter and accompanying appendix.
The authoritative Law of Defamation (The Federation Press, 1998 – now out of print) established Michael Gillooly as a leading scholar in the field of defamation law. Many will find The Third Man compelling, both in its analysis of defences in the current law and his argument for reform.
Treats in some detail the defences of truth, truth and public benefit, fair comment and honest opinion, absolute and qualified privilege (as well the Lange Extension) as well as the defence of fair report and other miscellaneous defences.
It is a very difficult task for an author to cover these defences adequately in the light of the fact that whilst they basically exist in each State and Territory, at the present time each State Act contains some vital difference and the procedure for dealing with this type of action differs from State to State. However, the author basically succeeds in this difficult task.
The modern cases on each defence are thoroughly analysed so as to produce a very useful book for practitioners in this area of the law. - Australian Law Journal, Vol 79, 2005
The third man principle
Truth and related defences
Fair comment and honest opinion
Absolute privilege or protection
Qualified privilege or protection
Defences for republishers - fair and accurate reports and official documents
Model Part Z - Code of Defamation Defences
Table of Cases/ Table of Statutes/ Abbreviations/ Index