The Press and the 1847 Libel Act: the first criminal libel trials in New South Wales

Margaret Van Heekeren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 1847 the New South Wales colonial government set the foundation of Australian defamation law with passage of the Libel Act. This article details the first two criminal libel cases to be tried following the Act's passage, R v Goode in Melbourne and R v Isaacs in Bathurst (NSW). Both cases involve newspaper proprietors and law enforcers. They reveal a clash between press and authority that, despite the new Act and the optimism of newspaper publishers, perpetuated a history of litigation by authority to control the early colonial press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-290
Number of pages22
JournalLegal History
Volume13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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