Review of Model Defamation Provisions

The Defamation Working Party, established by the Council of Attorneys-General, is undertaking a review of defamation law in Australia to identify areas for national reform.

Led by the NSW Department of Justice, the Defamation Working Party is inviting public feedback on the Model Defamation Provisions to assess whether the existing laws are meeting their policy objectives, particularly in response to the rise of online publications and technological changes since the provisions were developed.

The Model Defamation Provisions were endorsed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (the Council's predecessor) in 2005. Each state and territory enacted legislation to implement the provisions. While responsibility for defamation law falls to individual states and territories, a national approach to reform is essential to keep pace with the digital age where online publications cross state boundaries. 

Your feedback on the Model Defamation Provisions will inform the review and help to improve, and modernise, nationally consistent defamation law. 

Discussion paper

The purpose of defamation law is to balance protection from reputational damage with freedom of speech, and the release of information that's considered public interest.

The Review of Model Defamation Provisions Discussion Paper [PDF, 700kb] includes specific questions about the Model Defamation Provisions for your consideration; however, you are invited to comment on any other matters related to the provisions.

The Model Defamation Provisions are available on the Australasian Parliamentary Counsel's Committee website at

Submissions invited

Comments and submissions should be made in writing to:

Review of Model Defamation Provisions
C/o Justice Strategy and Policy Division
NSW Department of Justice
GPO Box 31
Sydney NSW 2001

or by sending an email to

Submissions close on Tuesday, 30 April 2019.

Submissions may be published

Please note that all submissions and comments will be treated as public, and may be published, unless you indicate that it is to be treated as confidential.


Supplementary submissions