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Naming, Defaming & the Public Interest in Australian politics

In 2018 two female politicians brought defamation claims in relation to comments and publications containing what they claim were defamatory statements that impacted their reputation in the public eye. NSW Labour MP Emma Husar brought a claim against Buzzfeed for an article published in July alleging misconduct, including flirting with male staff members. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young brought a claim against Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm after he told Hanson-Young that she should “stop shagging men” and accused her of calling all men rapists.

We were joined by Professor Rick Sarre from the University of South Australia Law School, to help clarify the nature and relevance of Australia’s defamation laws, particularly in relation to this country’s politicians.

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