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Make sure your group understands how the law can affect what you can and can’t communicate.

Content last updated 16/10/2023

Understanding defamation laws

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Understanding defamation laws

Not-for-profit organisations that publish information, including online and in social media, should be aware of the risks of publishing defamatory material. Defamation laws aim to balance freedom of expression with the protection of reputations.

It’s important for not-for-profit organisations to understand the risks of publishing potentially defamatory material, including on social media or online. Defending a defamation claim can be stressful, costly and time-consuming – but there are options for resolving the issue that don’t involve going to court.

Not-for-profit organisations may also wish to understand their options where the organisation, or a person involved in the organisation, believes they have been defamed.

Defamation is a very technical area of law which has differences between states and territories. It’s therefore important to seek advice early so you can make an informed decision.

Our fact sheet covers:

  • what is defamation?
  • who can be defamed?
  • who can be sued for defamation?
  • common defences
  • concerns notices
  • apologies and offers to a make amends

The fact sheet also includes some practical guidance for organisations to avoid the risks of defamation claims.

Defamation laws

The content on this webpage was last updated in October 2023 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.

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