skip to content
Law Handbook banner image


In Carson v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd (1992) 178 CLR 44, Brennan J said:

“The chief purpose of the law in creating a cause of action for defamation is to provide vindication to counter the injury done to the plaintiff in his or her reputation … .”

The principal remedy for a person who has been defamed is damages. The court awards money as compensation for the harm done to a person's reputation and injury to her or his feelings. As at 1 July 2012, these damages are limited to a maximum of $339 000. They are indexed annually. It is quite possible for people to show that they have been defamed but still not receive substantial damages.

The state of mind of the defendant generally is not relevant in awarding damages but an apology or correction are factors that can be taken into consideration.

Damages  :  Last Revised: Tue May 28th 2013
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.