Full Court Minute Books

Case S309/2010

Cush v. Dillon
Boland v. Dillon

Case No.

S309/2010 and S310/2010

Case Information

Lower Court Judgment

15/07/2010 Supreme Court of New South Wales (Court of Appeal)(Allsop ACJ, Tobias JA, Bergin CJ in Eq)

[2010] NSWCA 165


Defamation — Defences — Qualified privilege — Boland and respondent directors and Cush General Manager of Borders River-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority (“the CMA”) — Respondent told chairman of CMA that “It is common knowledge among people in the CMA that [the applicants] are having an affair” — Common ground at trial that applicants not having affair and that respondent did not believe applicants having affair when comment made — Respondent denied making comment — Jury found respondent made defamatory comment — Respondent advanced defence of qualified privilege founded on perceived need to inform chairman of “the rumour and the accusation” of affair — Whether common law defence of qualified privilege available to publisher of defamatory statement who denies making statement — Whether publication of imputations of affair between director and General Manager of body, rather than rumour of possible affair, can be published by another director to chairman on occasion of qualified privilege — Whether voluntary nature of defamatory imputations decisive against defence of qualified privilege.

Short Particulars


10/12/2010 Hearing (SLA, Sydney)

22/12/2010 Notice of appeal

01/02/2011 Written submissions (Appellants)

01/02/2011 Chronology

15/02/2011 Written submissions (Respondent)

07/04/2011 Hearing (Full Court, Canberra)

10/08/2011 Judgment (Judgment summary)