Uren v John Fairfax and Sons Pty Ltd: 2 Jun 1966

(High Court of Australia) ‘It seems to us that, in a case where there is no qualified privilege to report or repeat the defamatory statements of others, the whole cohesion of the law of defamation would be destroyed, if it were permissible merely to plead and prove that the defamatory statement was made by another; that this fact was stated in the matter complained of and that the defamatory imputation was not adopted or affirmed. The law as to qualified protection of the reports of certain designated matters would be largely if not wholly redundant.’ and ‘It seems to me that, properly speaking, a man defamed does not get compensation for his damaged reputation. He gets damages because he was injured in his reputation, that is simply because he was publicly defamed. For this reason, compensation by damages operates in two ways-as a vindication of the plaintiff to the public and as consolation to him for a wrong done. Compensation is here a solatium rather than a monetary recompense for harm measurable in money.’ (Windeyer J)


McTiernan, Taylor, Menzies, Windeyer and Owen JJ


(1966) 117 CLR 118, [1966] HCA 40






CitedRookes v Barnard (No 1) HL 21-Jan-1964
The court set down the conditions for the award of exemplary damages. There are two categories. The first is where there has been oppressive or arbitrary conduct by a defendant. Cases in the second category are those in which the defendant’s conduct . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromAustralian Consolidated Press Limited v Uren PC 24-Jul-1967
The Board declined to interfere with the decision of the High Court of Australia not to review its jurisprudence on exemplary damages: ‘[I]n a sphere of law where its policy calls for decision and where its policy in a particular country is . .
CitedCassell and Co Ltd v Broome and Another HL 23-Feb-1972
Exemplary Damages Award in Defamation
The plaintiff had been awarded damages for defamation. The defendants pleaded justification. Before the trial the plaintiff gave notice that he wanted additional, exemplary, damages. The trial judge said that such a claim had to have been pleaded. . .
CitedStern v Piper and Others CA 21-May-1996
The defendant newspaper said that allegations had been made against the plaintiff that he was not paying his debts. In their defence they pleaded justification and the fact that he was being sued for debt.
Held: A defamation was not to be . .
CitedLumba (WL) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 23-Mar-2011
The claimants had been detained under the 1971 Act, after completing sentences of imprisonment pending their return to their home countries under deportations recommended by the judges at trial, or chosen by the respondent. They challenged as . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Defamation

Updated: 23 November 2022; Ref: scu.223205