As a solicitor working extensively in family law, clients often ask me about remarks made by their former partner, or a proxy for their former partner, which remarks the client regards to be defamatory. Sometimes these remarks are published in social media. I have been shown evidence from social media of such statements. The first thing to note, is that if proceedings are on foot under the Family Law Act, then the Family Law Act specifically makes it an offence to publish an account of the proceedings, where ‘publish’ has a wide reading in its application. The second thing to note is the clear evidentiary hurdle of proving the author of such material. Third, and now more even more interesting, are recent jurisprudential developments as highlighted in the following piece published in the Guardian: “Facebook defamation: man wins lawsuit over estranged wife’s domestic violence post.” [02.01.2015]
I recently wrote a blog about a recent decision of the Full Court of the Family Court, in which one of the issues for determination was the Taxation Commissioner’s access to the parties’ family law pleading statements. The decision is reported as Commissioner of Taxation & Darling  FamCAFC 59.
I wrote a blog previously about the recent High Court hearing in Honeysett’s case, a case concerning circumstantial identification and expert opinion evidence.
Judgement has now been delivered and the High Court has ordered:
Mr Honeysett’s conviction quashed; and
A new trial be had.
Deborah Cornwall published on ABC online an article headed “Stressful marriage more likely to kill men, study finds”.
A Danish study of 10,000 men and women aged between 36 and 52; conducted over 10 years, has concluded that an unhappy marriage can triple the prospects of a premature death to the male in it; with the prognosis worse still when the man is unemployed.
“The study found 6 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women went to an early grave.”