In Ghosh v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd & Ors; Ghosh v Ninemsn Pty Ltd & Ors (No 4)  NSWDC 151 (17 September 2014) there is discussion on the high costs of defamation proceedings. Reference is made to the UK report “A comparative Study of Defamation Costs Across Europe”, Oxford University, 2008 (http://pcmlp.socleg.ox.ac.uk/sites/pcmlp.socleg.ox.ac.uk/files/defamationreport.pdf). In the UK libel costs are 140 times more costly than the average libel costs in other European countries. The report discusses the effect of conditional fee agreements and ìafter the eventî insurance on costs in England and Wales.
Gibson DCJ stated in Ghose : ìThere can be no doubt the cost of defending a defamation action to trial is beyond the resources of the majority of Australian working families, let alone the financially disadvantaged. The question is how the court determines whether these high costs are “out of all proportion to the interest at stake” (Bleyer v Google Inc, at ), taking into account the resources of the court and the parties.î