View all news

Defamed in social media? High school students to decide


Sharlene King
9 May 2013
Humiliated by a very public break-up, June Jane sought revenge in the online world where she made comments about her ex and posted photographs of him.

The extent to which material published in social media and online is defamatory will be the case argued by high school students from the Northern Rivers, Murwillumbah and Coffs Harbour at the 2013 The Hon John Dowd AO QC High School Mooting Competition hosted by the Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice tomorrow (Friday May 10).

The judge in the original case found Jane’s Facebook, Twitter and personal webpage materials defamatory and awarded damages to her former partner, Bryce Bruce. Jane’s appeal of that decision is the court battle being played out.

The senior high school students have been given all of the case details and during the course of the day each team will get the opportunity to act for both the appellant (June) and the respondent (Bryce).

The participating schools are Alstonville High School, Coffs Harbour Senior College, John Paul College Coffs Harbour (2012 winner) and Murwillumbah High.

Winning teams in the early rounds will compete in the grand final for a trophy and cash prizes.

The mooting rounds will be judged by Southern Cross University Law Student Society (SCULSS) members, School of Law and Justice staff and local lawyers.

The grand final will be judged by Richard Harris from the School of Law and Justice and local lawyers Graham Bassett and Sophie Anderson.

The Hon John Dowd AO QC High School Mooting Competition, now in its fifth year, is named in honour of the University’s Chancellor Mr Dowd, who is a former Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and former NSW Attorney-General and leader of the opposition.

Photo: University Chancellor The Hon John Dowd AO QC with 2012 mooting competition winners, John Paul College students Sophie James (left) and Jacqui McGrath. Media opportunity: Media are invited to attend any of the mooting sessions on Friday May 10 in the Law and Justice building L Block. Round 1: 9.30am–10.30am in L1.05, L1.10 and L2.30 Round 2: 10.45am–11.45am in L1.05, L1.10 and L2.30 Round 3: 1pm–2pm in L1.05 and L1.10 Final Moot: 2.30pm–3.30pm in L1.05, the University’s Moot Court Presentation ceremonies: 3.45pm in L1.05