Thursday, 6 September 2018

Mark Lathan’s defence of defamation dismissed

Excerpts from Federal Court of Australia, Faruqi v Latham [2018] FCA 1328, Defamation:

1.  The respondent’s defence dated 23 November 2017 be struck out.
2.  The applicant’s interlocutory application filed 14 December 2017 be otherwise dismissed.
3.  The respondent’s interlocutory application filed 11 December 2017 be dismissed.
4.  The respondent pay the applicant’s costs of and associated with the interlocutory applications referred to in orders 2 and 3.
5.  The parties jointly arrange for the matter to be listed for a case management hearing on the earliest date suitable to the parties and the Court after 28 September 2018……


1. What does the martyrdom of Christians in the Roman Empire between the reign of the Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus and Emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus have to do with a defamation action commenced in Australia in 2017?  How could the persecution of ethnoreligious Huguenots in the French Kingdom during the French Wars of Religion of the Sixteenth Century be said to rationally affect the assessment of the probability of a fact in issue in a modern-day defamation action in which the defamatory imputations are said to be that the applicant knowingly assists terrorist fanatics who want to kill innocent people in Australia, or condones the murder of innocent people by Islamic terrorists, or encourages and facilitates terrorism  Could the fact of the segregation and ill-treatment of ethnic Negro people under the doctrine of Apartheid in South Africa between 1948 and 1991 reasonably be said to be relevant to the defences of justification, contextual truth, qualified privilege, honest opinion and fair comment pleaded by the respondent in that defamation action?

2. These and other equally beguiling questions are raised by the interlocutory applications filed by the parties in this matter.

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