There are a number of defences which may be appropriate to defend against a claim of defamation, such as:

Truth – if a defamatory statement is objectively true, a claim in defamation can be defeated.

Fair comment/honest opinion – a defamatory statement can be defended if:

  • it is recognisable as a comment (eg it is a statement of opinion, such as a criticism or an observation, rather than a statement of fact); and
  • it is based on objectively true facts; and
  • it is a matter of public interest; and
  • a fair minded person could honestly express the same comment based on similar facts or proper material.

Qualified privilege – a defamatory communication can be defended it can be established that:

  • the person receiving it has an interest in knowing such information; and
  • the defamatory material is communicated in the course of providing that information; and
  • in the circumstances, the person communicating the material conducted themselves reasonably .