Flat Chat Forum NCAT – the NSW Tribunal Current Page

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  • #50977

    In Parliament, Members can get up and say anything about anyone (in theory, anyway.) They are protected against defamation proceedings by Parliamentary privilege.

    Are proceedings in civil matters in NSW similarly protected? If I gave evidence to NCAT that citizen X was a bully and a liar with unhealthy obsessions and probable advanced dementia, could that evidence form the basis of a defamation action? Would I have to be very careful, and only say something like “a certain member of the Committee is a bully, etc. etc”?

    Threats of defamation actions seem to be the tactic du jour. I know, I’ve already received one.

    Can anyone more knowledgeable than myself assist?

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  • #50992

    Thank you, Jimmy! I can’t get my old friend the solicitor to be as prompt and concise as that!


    I’m not going to offer you advice either way but you might want to read the attached extracts from the NSW Defamation Act (below).

    Also, even before you get to what looks like the considerable protections offered by Tribunal proceedings, discussions at strata committee level carry qualified privilege, as the strata chairman who sued a tenant for defamation discovered when he lost on appeal and had to pay costs.


    Defence of absolute privilege

    (1) It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that it was published on an occasion of absolute privilege.

    (2) Without limiting subsection (1), matter is published on an occasion of absolute privilege if–

    (b) the matter is published in the course of the proceedings of an Australian court or Australian tribunal, including (but not limited to)–

    (i) the publication of matter in any document filed or lodged with, or otherwise submitted to, the court or tribunal (including any originating process), and

    (ii) the publication of matter while giving evidence before the court or tribunal, and

    (iii) the publication of matter in any judgment, order or other determination of the court or tribunal, or

    (d) the matter is published by a person or body in any circumstances specified in Schedule 1.

    Schedule 1 – Additional publications to which absolute privilege applies

    33 Matters arising under Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013

    Without limiting section 27 (2) (a)-(c), matter that is published to or by the Civil and Administrative Tribunal under the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (including matter that is published by that Tribunal in an official report of a decision of that Tribunal or of the reasons of that Tribunal for a decision).

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Flat Chat Forum NCAT – the NSW Tribunal Current Page