New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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DEFAMATION ACT 2005 - SECT 35
Damages for non-economic loss limited
35 Damages for non-economic loss limited
(1) Unless the court orders otherwise under subsection (2), the maximum amount
of damages for non-economic loss that may be awarded in defamation proceedings
is $250,000 or any other amount adjusted in accordance with this section from
time to time (the
"maximum damages amount" ) that is applicable at the time damages are awarded.
(2) A court may order a defendant in defamation proceedings to pay damages for
non-economic loss that exceed the maximum damages amount applicable at the
time the order is made if, and only if, the court is satisfied that the
circumstances of the publication of the defamatory matter to which the
proceedings relate are such as to warrant an award of aggravated damages.
The Minister is, on or before 1 July 2006 and on or before 1 July in each
succeeding year, to declare, by order published in the Gazette, the amount
that is to apply, as from the date specified in the order, for the purposes of
For orders under this subsection, see Gazettes No 84 of
30.6.2006, p 5043 (amount declared: $259,500); No 80 of 15.6.2007, p 3793
(amount declared: $267,500); No 72 of 20.6.2008, p 5482 (amount declared
$280,500); No 90 of 19.6.2009, p 3137 (amount declared: $294,500); No 79 of
18.6.2010, p 2452 (amount declared: $311,000); No 62 of 24.6.2011, p 4588
(amount declared: $324,000); No 60 of 8.6.2012, p 2369 (amount declared:
$339,000); No 65 of 31.5.2013, p 2307 ($355,500); No 52 of 26.6.2015, p 1928
(amount declared: $376,500); No 50 of 17.6.2016, p 1406 (amount declared:
$381,000); No 56 of 26.5.2017, p 1782 (amount declared: $389,500); No 66 of
29.6.2018, p 3970 (amount declared: $398,500) and No 55 of 31.5.2019, p 1665
(amount declared: $407,500).
(4) The amount declared is to be the amount
applicable under subsection (1) (or that amount as last adjusted under this
section) adjusted by the percentage change in the amount estimated by the
Australian Statistician of the average weekly total earnings of full-time
adults in Australia over the 4 quarters preceding the date of the declaration
for which those estimates are, at that date, available.
(5) An amount
declared for the time being under this section applies to the exclusion of the
amount of $250,000 or an amount previously adjusted under this section.
If the Australian Statistician fails or ceases to estimate the amount referred
to in subsection (4), the amount declared is to be determined in accordance
with the regulations.
(7) In adjusting an amount to be declared for the
purposes of subsection (1), the amount determined in accordance with
subsection (4) is to be rounded to the nearest $500.
(8) A declaration made
or published in the Gazette after 1 July in a year and specifying a date that
is before the date it is made or published as the date from which the amount
declared by the order is to apply has effect as from that specified date.
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