Google LLC v Defteros [2022] HCA 27

The High Court’s recent decision in Google LLC v Defteros [2022] HCA 27, combined with the next stage of the Model Defamation Amendment Provisions process, indicate a change in direction away from defamation claims against internet intermediaries.

Google LLC succeeded in its appeal to the High Court of Australia (HCA) in its defence of a defamation claim by a lawyer, George Defteros, after it showed search results linking to an article containing defamatory content. The leading judgment in the HCA found that Google’s conduct did not meet the element of publication, which is a bilateral process of communication. The various defences were not required because the claim failed on the cause of action.

In this article, W+K defamation specialists Robert Finnigan, Caitilin Watson and Nicholas Darwen look at how the High Court’s decision and the recently released Attorneys Generals’ Model Amendment provisions may refocus disputes back to the original author and the claimant.

Read the case alert in full below.