Crikey Lists

Jan 28, 2015

Crikey list: politicians who have sued media outlets for defamation

For all our politicians profess a love of free speech, here are some of our elected representatives who decided to cash in on a media that might have been a little too free ...

This list is adapted from Crikey’s 2002, 2005 and 2009 lists on this subject, with more recent updates included. We have, however, limited this list to elected politicians (not staffers or political operatives) who have sued media outlets over their coverage. Also, threats to sue are a dime a dozen, so we’ve only included politicians who have actually filed writs. It was first published in January 2015, and had several new names updated in April 2015. Have we missed anyone? Get in touch.

8 comments

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8 thoughts on “Crikey list: politicians who have sued media outlets for defamation

  1. Limited News

    The new HWL Ebsworth lawyers building 6 National Circuit in Canberra was built on the site of the Masonic lodge. Is there a new Masonic lodge atop that building too? Did Joh Bjelke-Petersen use Ebsworths because of a Masonic connection?

  2. Djbekka

    Neal Blewett – not that simple. Twas a political swipe and a political law suit.

  3. Stuart Coyle

    So of those who sued for defamation and then were shown to have actually done the things
    that they were supposedly defamed about, how many will have to give the money back or get done for perjury?

    I bet none of them ever do.

  4. Limited News

    Worth mentioning that in many South East Asian countries it is actually a crime to defame not just a person, but an institution. eg a lady was sent to jail in Indonesia for complaining about hospital treatment on Facebook. Indonesians would be stung by the comparison, but at least in Communist China you can criticise non-state institutions. Democracy is pure theatre when all you can do is the equivalent of Facebook-like everything but never ever critique.

  5. Gavin Moodie

    Didn’t Crikey pay out big defamation damages for a piece written by Bernard Keane several years ago?

  6. AR

    StuartC – prime example being Obeid but in Blighty a couple of high profile cases such as Jeffrey Archer & Jonathan Atkins, both got big bikkie$, were subsequently found to have perjured themselves and did porridge but did not have to repay their ill gotten gains.
    Unfortunately for the crooks & shysters “the grreater the truth,the greater the libel“.
    Fact/reality is no defence, just as public interest is no defence for whistle blowers.

  7. Myriam Robin

    Gavin – that was to Mark Textor, who hasn’t been elected. Thus left off this list, which only included elected politicians suing media.

  8. Gavin Moodie

    Thanx very much Robin. It was before I became a subscriber so I wasn’t paying much attention at the time. But the size of the damages caught my attention.

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