Franks on Defamation

Stephen Franks

Stephen Franks explains why it is that serial defamer Trevor Mallard might be best to eat humble pie and apologise to Judith Collins:

If I were the Hon Trevor Mallard I’d eat humble pie now to extract myself from the hole of  implying that the Hon Judith Collins was complicit in publicising the ACC correspondence of  Bronwyn Pullar.

The Minister plans to sue and fund it herself. She will be entitled to pocket the winnings.

Normally Court serves only the lawyers but for a good lawyer it can be worth being a plaintiff. Richard Prebble made real money punishing some who defamed him. Such plaintiffs serve the public interest in upholding the integrity of public debate. If there is no sanction for lying in the exercise of free speech, a kind of Gresham’s law may prevail. The person determined not to lie may be destroyed by the colour and effectiveness of ever bigger lies.

And the National Party has already gained from Judith Collins’ steadiness under fire. Her determination has helped knocked the ACC claim to irrelevance. Pollling suggests that the public find it as boring as I do.

Most New Zealanders reason instinctively that anyone sucking off “the system”  forfeits their right to privacy, at least in respects relevant to any complaints about the system’s fairness to them.

An unfairness complainer going public should have to accept that the rest of us are entitled to all the information necessary to judge the unfairness accusation in context.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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