Activist Shane Bazzi wins appeal against Peter Dutton defamation decision

Activist Shane Bazzi has won an appeal against the defamation action brought by Defence Minister Peter Dutton.

Bazzi won an appeal earlier this week against a defamation proceeding that was handed down back in November last year. Dutton sued Bazzi in the Federal Court over a now deleted tweet which accused him of being a “rape apologist”.

The unemployed refugee activist published the tweet on 25 February 2021. The tweet read ‘Peter Dutton is a rape apologist’ and contained a link to an article in The Guardian, which concerned Dutton’s claim that women in immigration detention use rape allegations to get to Australia for medical treatment.

The court awarded Dutton $35,000 in damages and legal costs, with Justice Richard White finding the communication contained a “defamatory imputation” about the politician’s character.

The full court however found that the decision was not sound, and overturned the judgement. Justices Steven Rares, Darryl Rangiah and Michael Wigney said it was not reasonable to find that the individual tweet at the centre of the case contained enough information for a reader to access the alleged specific meaning.

Speaking to the media outside court Bazzi said the case had certainly taken a toll on him.

“This case was not just about me,” he said.

“It was about anyone who wants to make political comment or criticism on social media.

“I feel very grateful that the court has set such a clear and compelling precedent.”

OIP Staff

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.


Tags: , ,

You must be logged in to post a comment Login