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Libs Move to Amend Defamation Act

Nick Mckim

Nick Mckim  -  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tags: Justice, Freedom of Speech

The Attorney-General, Vanessa Goodwin MLC, today confirmed moves to amend the Defamation Act 1995 to allow large corporations to take Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP suits) designed to intimidate Tasmanians out of participating in public debate.

“Astoundingly the Attorney-General had no idea what a SLAPP suit is, despite the fact her government’s move to amend the Defamation Act will open the door to these anti-democratic law suits," Green Justice spokesperson Nick McKim MP said.

"On top of the government’s push to lock-up protesters, we now learn they want to open the doors for corporations to target individuals with legal action designed to silence dissent and prevent freedom of expression."

“The Attorney General wants to take Tasmania closer to the US model, and as we saw with the failed Gunns 20 legal action, big companies have tried to crush democratic participation in public debate here in the past.”

“The Liberals are deliberately fostering a climate of fear to discourage the community from speaking out on public matters important to them, or participating in their democratic right to protest.”

“Attorney-General Goodwin needs to take a deep breath, and instead educate herself on the ramifications and dangers of SLAPP suits,” Mr McKim said.