RMIT media law expert Professor Phil Smits has told The Public Apology that Sharks captain Paul Gallen should move to sue the NRL over their $50k fine, given his insult was factually correct.
“Under defamation law, the defendant can be exonerated if their comment is deemed to be based in fact,” he said.
“And Paul Gallen is correct – the NRL are an ensemble of c*nts.
“While the NRL are not literally a slang term for a part of the female anatomy, they do fit under the alternative definition of term. That is, a person so vile as to be without any redeeming feature.
“It also goes without saying that the second clause of Mr Gallen’s statement – that nobody in the NRL cares about the feelings over their players – is demonstrably true,” he said.
Mr Smits did however place a caveat on his unsolicited legal advice to Paul Gallen.
“The only thing Gallen has going against him is the fact he deleted the tweet so quickly. In doing so, he may have repudiated his original statement,” he said.
“Despite this, I believe Mr Gallen has a strong case.”
At the time of publication, it was unknown whether Paul Gallen is considering using this defence in his appeal against the NRL’s decision.
By staff writers.