| Commentary

222 Absolute privilege

| Commentary

222 Absolute privilege

Defamatory words published on an occasion of absolute privilege will be protected however false and however malicious the publisher. The occasions of absolute privilege are few and narrowly defined. The categories most likely to affect the media are:

  1. 222.1

        statements made in the course of parliamentary proceedings—defamatory statements made by members of parliament inside the Houses of Parliament are absolutely privileged but if repeated outside only attract qualified privilege (if all the other conditions for that defence are fulfilled)1;

  2. 222.2

        statements made in the course of judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings—this covers statements made by lawyers, judges, witnesses

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