Magistrate Pat O’Shane will not be able to use the special defence of ‘judicial immunity’ in her defamation action against 2GB’s Alan Jones.
The NSW government argued against O’Shane’s bid to use the judicial immunity defence, which will now force her to go head to head with 2GB’s lawyers on the argument of truth.
O’Shane maintains she was defamed by Jones’ comment: “[O’Shane] can deliver the most diabolical and wrong decisions in law, and they go through to the keeper.”
2GB will defend the action, claiming that the comments are true. The station will cite up to nine cases where it maintains O’Shane made wrong decisions, which were later overturned or examined.
Defamation takes place when a station brings down the reputation of an identified person through comments broadcast on air. There are three main defences for defamation: Truth, Fair Comment and Protected Reports. If a station can prove one of these defences it is not liable for damages.