Saturday, January 21, 2012

Defamation and Democracy


In Australian law, in theory, we are protected by the law against people who would seek to defame or misrepresent or besmirch our reputations in the work community and in society. This can work against us as in the case of Darryn Hinch - a man I do have intense admiration for. He went to jail for naming sex offenders on public radio. Now the law is a funny business when it is all said and done.
I am investigating the possibility of a defamation lawsuit and have to contact a person who is making it their business to deal with this sort of thing. I have been advised to to to Legal Aid by a left wing Law firm which is known nationally but they are also known for their support for a certain lobby group in society.

What is defamation?
The law is now fairly uniform across Australia and whether that is to my advantage or not remains to be seen.

The publication of any false imputation concerning a person, or a member of his family, whether living or dead, by which (a) the reputation of that person is likely to be injured or (b) he is likely to be injured in his profession or trade or (c) other persons are likely to be induced to shun, avoid, ridicule or despise him.
Publication of defamatory matter can be by (a) spoken words or audible sound or (b) words intended to be read by sight or touch or (c) signs, signals, gestures or visible representations, and must be done to a person other than the person defamed.

Here is a more detailed analysis if you need it.

There is a statue of limitations but I also will have to go down the path of a certain party having incited hatred towards me and my young son of 8 years old to such an extent as certain members of a lobby group would feel justified and doing harm to us. I have had again persons drive past my flat on a certain road in Caulfield and scream out 'Bigoted slut' and other 'endearing' epithets. Interesting and extremely worrying that my son has to be subjected to that sort of rubbish and even me.  Obviously we are dealing with quite deranged and demented people. I am glad, sincerely glad that some of the people from the homosexual communities that I have met through work or study or simply in all walks of life, have been on the whole quite rational human beings and good citizens. While I will not promote or support a gay life style, I will treat gay people or homosexuals with respect deserving of any human being. I remain unequivocally on the side of promoting male female heterosexual relationships and marriage as the ideal and healthiest lifestyle as is my right in a democratic society.

To call me a homophobic or blame me for the death of young gay peoples because I do not support gay marriage rights is both absurd and in fact cyberbullying when numerous posts and blogs are written with me as the main focus and the intent is one of malice and indeed disturbing malice that could cause harm to both myself and my young son for the obvious reasons. What boundaries do these people place on their behaviour? Obviously none what so ever.
This all started well over a year ago and has continued up to a few weeks ago. All very weird that one single parent has all this focus from the GLTGB community. On would think they had bigger fish to fry than harrassing more vulnerable members of society.

The Uniform Defamation Law requires that a plaintiff must commence proceedings for defamation within a year of publication or broadcast. However, courts may extend this to up to three years if the plaintiff can demonstrate there were good reasons why they could not start the action within a year.

We have the right in a democracy to voice our opinions and our beliefs, so long as they do not incite hatred or violence against another group of people. We can express ideas so long as those ideas do not cause harm to others. When we become autocratic and dictatorial and we believe only our views and our opinions are right and only our views must be give respect and space, then we are censoring all opinions except our own and are totally unbalanced in our approach to debate.
Some people are obviously not sublte enough to see that. They think censorship is all about their opinions and not about their censoring of what others say in a reasoned and sensible manner. Only very frightened and violently inclined people with no argument to back them, resort to such techniques. I focus on the argument rather than the person. That is all. the issue is respect and the rights of the individual to freedom of speech without harm to others.

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