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Magistrate awarded $200,000 in defamation case

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 16 March 2004


The Supreme Court in Sydney has awarded Aboriginal magistrate Pat O'Shane more than $200,000 in damages in a defamation case.

Ms O'Shane said the article in the Sydney Morning Herald severely hurt her personally and damaged her professional reputation.

The 1999 article accused her of bias against police, allowing anger and bitterness to affect her judgment and failing to consider cases in accordance with the law.

Outside the court, Ms O'Shane said the decision vindicated her stance.

"It certainly caused me a great deal of personal distress," she said.

"There were many, many calls made by parliamentarians, as well as members of the public, for my removal from the bench."


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