Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Lenah Game Meats Pty Ltd

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November 15, 2001 ([2001] HCA 63)

Lenah Game tried to get an injunction preventing broadcast by ABC of a film that was made by others with a hidden camera on Lenah's premises. They claimed that the film was made illegally, was meant to show them in a bad light, and cause it irreparable harm.

The test for injunctive relief in Australia is the American Cyanamid test. As to whether there was a serious question to be tried, the issue was whether the plaintiff had a substantive claim against the broadcaster, as opposed to the filmmakers. The court found that Lenah had no legal or substantive right that would justify an injunction against ABC. As well, the court held that a corporation does not have a right of privacy.

The decision was not unanimous in its reasoning. Kirby J.'s decision was based on a constitutional argument to the effect that free discussion of governmental and political issues of animal welfare in this context should have led to the exercise of discretion against granting the interlocutory injunction.

One justice dissented.

See: Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Lenah Game Meats Pty Ltd

See Also: R. v. Thomson Canada

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