I note the letter seeks, “you delete the current publication on the internet site and desist from making any further allegations about our clients”. The letter seeks to have my client take such action on the basis the publication contains allegations about your clients that are false and without foundation in “certain material relating to a dispute between “The Examiner” and a former employee Mr Wes Young”. Further the letter asserts that the publication of, “the material on the internet”, has the potential to seriously damage your clients’ professional reputation and business reputation.
The material of which your client has complaint is not otherwise described nor identified with a particularity such as to enable my client to comply with your request short of deleting all reference to your clients and Mr Young. There is no basis in law for such a request.
My client denies that any of the matters published on the website are such as to provide your client with the basis for a successful action pursuant to the provisions of the Defamation Act 1957.
A second matter the letter raises the issue of a possible contempt of the Australian Industrial Commission given that many of, “the issues raised in the publication will be the subject of determination by the Australian Industrial Commission”. My client does not agree that the comments could be so construed as to be contemptuous.
My client seeks to inform the public by fair comment. To that end I have advised my client that the conduct of his publication must accord by the provisions of the Defamation Act 1957. I have received instructions that his endeavour is to provide a forum for views expressed in accordance with the law. This includes the views of your client.
To demonstrate my client’s good faith and in light of your comments the letter complaining of the publication of false allegations made without foundation is to be posted on the web site together with this response thereto.
In addition my client is to provide a link to the Defamation Act 1957 and request that all contributors make themselves aware of the contents of the Act before posting.
My client is firmly of the view that fair comment in relation to matters of public interest should be according to law. Given the view expressed above it follows my client will not be removing the material from the site.
James Crotty Barristers & Solicitors
ABN 40 253 186 921
174 Macquarie Street
Telephone (03) 6223 8666
Facsimile (03) 6223 8366
James F.W. Crotty B.A. (Adel) LL.B (Hons)(Tas)
Associate G. A. Doyle B.A. LL.B
Our ref: JC: MM: 05589