Law Essay Example: Australian or American Libel Law

Published: 2017-08-28
Law Essay Example: Australian or American Libel Law
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Law Ethics
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 958 words
8 min read

Introduction of the case

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Joseph Gutnick, a famous Australian businessman, faces a legal battle after one of the articles published some critical information tarnishing his name by accusing him falsely. He is first accused of money laundering and then there is the issue of tax evasion. The fact that these were wrong allegations motivated Gutnick to file a case against the action, but the problem that he is not sure whether to file the case in Australia or the United States because of the differences in the law systems. For instance, it is believed that the Australian laws were strict compared to the United laws and this is the reason they preferred to file the case in Australia (Spinello, 2013). Despite the fact that Australia was his home country, they protested that the Australian law did not have jurisdiction. However, after a long argument, the final verdict of the court decided that Gutnick should sue the case in his home state of Victoria considering the fact that it is the place where his reputation was destroyed. However, Dow Jones lawyers, on the other hand, protested that the case should be heard in the United States since they believed it was the fairest legal system.

To judge whether the decision was fair or not, the important thing is to evaluate the difference between the Australian and the United States in terms of fairness. The first thing that backs up the verdict was the fact that John was from Australia, which is his hometown, and it is a place that people knew him well compared to the United States. Also, the article originated from Australia meaning the issue had a lot to do with Australia. In this sense having a trial in Australia was the best thing to do because it was necessary for him to cleanse his name and come out clean in his town. Also, Australia has its laws and punishment when it comes to dealing with such issues, and the way of dealing with the case may be different from the United States, and this is why I think it was necessary to leave the matter in the hands of Australia (Anon, 1980).

Further, although the United States legal process is fair and transparent compared to the Australian legal system, directing John to sue in Australia was the best decision. First, it is important to consider that the Australian law deals differently with the case as the United States. Therefore, it is recommendable for the article writers to be judged under the law that they are conversant with instead of being taken to a legal system that they are not aware off. Additionally, being the resident of Australia, the parties were all familiar with the plea system and this could make it easy for them to follow the legal procedures before the final verdict is made unlike having the case in the United States where they are not aware of the legal process, which may easily pose an adverse impact on the flow of the case. Considering the fact that the Australian laws are supposed to be strict compared to the United States laws, it gives Gutnick a guarantee that he will attain justice in the process (Cowen, 1957). However, as much as the decision of the court was appropriate, it is still recommendable for the case to be conducted in the United States since the Street Journal is based there. As a result, the American legal system may use to determine the laws that the publisher violated. This is due to the fact that all companies have stated and clarified laws that are used as a guide in all the activities that the corporation completes them.

The Dow Jones lawyers, on the other hand, were against having the case in the Australia, but they wanted the trial to be in the United States. According to their argument, having the case in Australia was a danger to them n future as they will be open to different lawsuits. The reason against Australia was that the United States system was fair and that Australia did not have jurisdiction and this is the reason they believed they were at best position to handle the case. According to their fear, the Wall Street knew it was a mistake and having a case outside the United States was a guaranteed loose. Therefore, the only way to help themselves was to play in the league so that they can protect their image making their fears valid. All company has legal guidance that guides their operations so that in the case of any legal problem, the company has its lawyers who can protect the company. It is not advisable for the company to be open to any lawsuits as it will interfere with the privacy in many ways. This is the same thing the Joe Dows were keen on the location of the trial so that they can have the power to defend themselves.


Anon. (1980). American/Australian/New Zealand law: parallels and contrasts: papers presented in Sydney, Australia, from 11-16 August 1980 at a meeting between the American Bar Association, Law Council of Australia, New Zealand Law Society, to commemorate the bicentena. New York: ABA Publishers.

Cowen, Z. (1957). American-Australian private international law. New York: Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia University, by Oceana.

Spinello, R. (2013). Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace. New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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