“When all is stripped away from a person, what remains is their reputation. That is something worth defending. So too, is the ability of those who hold the powerful to account to do so without the chilling effects of having a defence that never works…”

-Mark Speakman, NSW Attorney General

The law of defamation in Australia aims to balance the right of free speech (and freedom of the media) with protecting a person’s honour or reputation against harm.   

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Article 17 

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. 

Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.