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The art of calculating damages in defamation cases

How are damages calculated in defamation cases?

Section 34 of the Defamation Act 2005 (Qld) states that:

“In determining the amount of damages to be awarded in any defamation proceedings, the court is to ensure that there is an appropriate and rational relationship between the harm sustained by the plaintiff and the amount of damages awarded.”

The calculation of damages for non-economic loss (i.e. damages for the hurt, injury and harm caused to the feelings and personal, professional and/or business reputation of the plaintiff) is not the product of a rigid and formulaic exercise. Each case is assessed on its own particular set of facts, matters and circumstances and the Judge will (if sitting alone, without a jury) calculate the appropriate award of damages by generally examining the following factors:

  • the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s reputation;
  • the nature and gravity of the defamatory accusations conveyed by the publication;
  • the mode, extent and duration of the publication;
  • the grapevine effect;
  • the effect of the publication on the feelings and reputation of the plaintiff;
  • the conduct of the defendant from the time of publication;
  • the conduct of the defendant at the trial; and
  • all the circumstances of the case relevant to the assessment of damages.

The amount of damages awarded will need to be high enough to vindicate the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of the public.


Contact Us

If you need legal advice or assistance in relation to a defamation law matter, please contact ADVIILAW today to speak to one of our experienced defamation lawyers.

Contact us on 07 3088 7937 or email us at [email protected].

Disclaimer

This commentary is of a general nature only, containing some general information for the reader.

It is not intended to be legal advice, nor can it be relied upon as legal advice, as each case will depend upon its own specific facts, matters and circumstances.

To this end, please kindly read our Website Terms and Conditions including the disclaimer contained therein carefully.

Laws, rules and principles may be subject to sudden and unexpected changes and you should always consult a lawyer about your specific circumstances before committing an act or omission in relation to your matter.

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Alice helped us with the purchase of our first home, and we greatly appreciated her attention to detail and clear... communication throughout the process. We would gladly work with her again or recommend her to others. Thanks Alice!read more
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I am extremely grateful for the help I received from ADVIILAW. I required their services for a defamation case and... their services exceeded my expectations. At any time I needed them they were always available to help promptly and did so with a high level of professionalism. Zoran Gelic is great to work with. He explained every step in detail so that I could clearly comprehend and make informed decisions to support my case. This assisted with the positive outcome. If you need a lawyer. I highly recommend ADVIILAWread more
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21:56 01 Apr 21
I highly recommend Zoran Gelic as a defamation lawyer. He has a proactive approach and explains everything in detail. I... ended up with a positive outcome and the experience I had with him was fantastic. Keep up the great work Zoran.read more
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I can highly recommend Zoran Gelic from Adviilaw who attended to a defamation matter on our behalf. Zoran was extremely... knowledgeable, helpful and professional in resolving this matter. I can highly recommend Zoran Gelic to anyone in need of a lawyer, specifically in relation to defamation law matters.read more
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Thank you Alice for your dedication and attention to detail towards our first home loan! Alice came highly recommended... by our broker and from day 1 Alice was very professional and courteous.Alice literally went above and beyond throughout the entire process to ensure the outcome would be in our best interest.I highly recommend to contact AdviiLaw, not just for conveyancing but for other solicitor services too!Thank you again Alice!read more
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