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This book combines a close analysis of defamation law with extensive empirical research into defamation litigation practice in England, Australia and the US. It provides a detailed explanation of the central issues that are most often at stake in defamation disputes in each country.
The book focuses on two themes. The first examines the central role that a publication's meaning plays in defamation law and practice, especially in England and Australia. The second considers the ways in which media speech is protected by qualified privilege in England and Australia, and by the constitutional rules developed since New York Times v Sullivan in the US.
The book provides legal analysis and empirical context that is relevant to understanding important recent changes to defamation law, which have occurred in a number of Commonwealth countries, and compares them with the central constitutional developments to US defamation law since the 1960s.