Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Project 8(I) - Defamation: privileged reports

Project No. 8(I)

Commenced: 1968
Completed: 1972

The reference was in part initiated by West Australian Newspapers Ltd which made a representation to the then Minister for Justice requesting amendments to the Newspaper Libel and Registration Act 1884 (WA) to ensure that the privilege given to reports under the Act be enjoyed by all newspapers.

Terms of Reference

In 1968, the Committee was asked to examine and make recommendations for amendment to the Newspaper Libel and Registration Act 1884 (WA), and consider the necessity of alterations to the law relating to civil defamation in Western Australia.


Section 2 of the Criminal Code Amendment Act 1977 partially implemented the recommendations of this report. The amending Act extended the defence of qualified privilege to reports of parliamentary proceedings and publications and to proceedings of Royal Commissions and statutory inquiries that have taken place elsewhere in Australia. The privilege was not extended to notices from government departments in other parts of the Commonwealth.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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