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 .