Scoop understands the appeal of former PM David Lange to the Privy Council in his defamation action against North and
South magazine has been delivered in London.
The appeal is against a ruling of the New Zealand Court of Appeal – which upheld an earlier decision of (now) Chief
Justice Sian Elias – on the establishment of a new defence of “political comment”.
Decisions in the Australia the US and Canada have already established and developed the defence but English and New
Zealand courts have slower on the uptake of the defence.
Scoop understands that the effect of the Law Lords judgement today is to refer the matter back to the Court of Appeal.
Scoop will update with an explanation of what this is all likely to mean for loudmouth political commentators as soon as
more information comes to hand…
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the
media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.