Category Archives: Tort

The Streisand Effect

In the light of the recent hoo-hah discussed by SL here involving Melinda Tankard-Reist suing blogger Jennifer Wilson for defamation I thought I might revisit the notion of the Streisand effect, because as Russell Blackford has commented, we may be seeing an instance of it unfolding before our eyes. The term Streisand effect was coined after […]

A Girl Named Sue (with apologies to Johnny Cash)

There’s nothing quite like getting up first thing in the morning to discover service documents sitting in your hallway (or, if you’re in Australia or the US, poking out of your mailbox). This is what has happened to Australian political and skeptical blogger Jennifer Wilson (her blog is ‘No Place for Sheep’) yesterday. I have […]

More on defamation, blogging and anonymity

In the Liskula Cohen “NYC skank” case, Cohen successfully sued Blogger to get them to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who had defamed her by calling her (inter alia) “skankiest in NYC”. Now we’ve apparently had a similar case in Australia. Self-help guru Jamie McIntyre launched the action in September this year after […]

‘This is a sad day for adequate research’

In the thread to Legal Eagle’s excellent casenote on Bromberg J’s ruling in the Andrew Bolt matter, I promised that I would point out why I think the plaintiffs (or, at least those with the strongest cases, and particularly Anita Heiss) should have brought their claims in defamation, not under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 […]

A more detailed analysis of the Bolt case

Background to the case The background to the case is that journalist Andrew Bolt wrote a series of newspaper articles and blog posts which were critical of the plaintiffs, who were all individuals who identified as Aboriginal, but who had pale skin and did not look like stereotypical Aboriginal people. He was critical of the […]

Is sex which results in injury on a work trip a compensable injury?

Now, if this were me, I don’t think I could bear to bring the dispute to court… However, there is presently a case before the Federal Court in which a woman is suing for worker’s compensation after she was injured during vigorous sex with a man she’d met while on a workplace trip. She was […]

Crazy Torts of the Past

Somehow, crazy tort claims seem like a modern phenomenon, a symptom of overly litigious and demanding consumer culture. However, this article from The Guardian says that insurance company Aviva researched tort law insurance claims dating back to the 1860s [pre-Donoghue v Stephenson], and found a plethora of frivolous or somewhat crazy claims: …[T]he Aviva research […]

Tolerating the intolerant

I am a quintessential liberal (with a small ‘l’) in relation to religious belief. I don’t much mind what someone else believes, as long as they (a) don’t harm others and (b) leave me well alone to my own rather quirky beliefs. One thing I particularly dislike is being preached at. The more someone tries […]

Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad Co – Reasonably Foreseeable?

One of the things you learn in law is that truth is stranger than fiction. I’m teaching Torts this year, and I’ve just had occasion to revisit Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad Co 248 NY 339; 162 NE 99 (1928). Gee, it’s a fantastic case. It’s generated debate for almost 100 years now, and to […]