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Defamation Bill 2005

Bill No. 072
Long Title The object of this Bill is to enact the model provisions agreed to by the Attorneys General of the States and Territories. The principle features of the model provisions are - the retention (with some modifications) of the common law of defamation to determine civil liability for defamation; the abolition of the distinction at common law between slander and libel; the creation of a statutory cap on the amount of damages for non-economic loss that may be awarded in civil proceedings for defamation; the enactment of provisions to facilitate the resolution of civil disputes about the publication of defamatory matter without litigation; the delineation of the respective roles of juries and judicial officers in the jury trial of civil proceedings for defamation by limiting the role of juries to the determination of whether a person has been defamed and leaving the award of damages to judicial officers; the abolition of exemplary and punitive damages in civil proceedings for defamation; the establishment of truth alone as a defence to a civil action for defamation; the imposition of a limitation period for civil actions for defamation of 1 year, subject to an extension (in limited circumstances) to a period of up to 3 years following publication; and the enactment of provisions dealing with criminal defamation.
Status Assented to
Royal Assent given 19 Dec 2005 as Act No. 44 of 2005. For details refer to the Commencement Clause of the Bill (see also Assent and Commencement information for Acts)
Current Bill
Legislative Assembly DateNote No.Related Documents
Introduced 08/17/2005  
First Reading 08/17/2005  
Second Reading 08/17/2005  
Second Reading Speech   
Second Reading Agreed 09/13/2005  
Consideration in Detail 09/13/2005  
Third Reading 09/15/2005  

Legislative Council DateNote No.Related Documents
Introduced 09/20/2005  
First Reading 09/20/2005  
Second Reading 09/20/2005  
Second Reading Speech   
Second Reading Agreed 12/01/2005  
Committee of the whole 12/01/2005  
Amendments adopted 12/01/2005  
Third Reading 12/01/2005  

Messages Between Houses DateNote No.
Legislative Council sent to the Legislative Assembly  12/01/2005  

Other Procedures DateNote No.Related Links
Referred to Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review  09/20/2005  
Legislative Council Second Reading - Committee Report Tabled  10/19/2005 1 
Amendments agreed to by Legislative Assembly  12/01/2005  

1. Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review Report No. 4 tabled on 19 October 2005 (TP No. 885)