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Defamation protects the reputation of individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit companies and provides redress when reputation has been wrongfully attacked or harmed. In Australia, the law concerning defamation is essentially the same in all states and territories. Defamatory material is untrue information, that identifies you, and damages your reputation. It must have been made public in some permanent way and be published without your permission. If this has happened to you, you may be able to seek redress for the defamation in Court. 

If your reputation is proven in Court to have been damaged as a result of defamatory statements, you will be entitled to damages. The purpose of damages is to clear your reputation and to compensate you for any distress and hurt caused when your reputation was damaged. Some types of defamation cannot be punished in Court however. These include defaming of a class of persons (for example, saying ‘all lawyers are thieves’), defaming of a person who is dead or defaming a local government authority.

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