Dow Jones & Company Inc v. Gutnick: An Opportunity Foregone?

Christopher J. Peters, University of Baltimore School of Law


The unique nature of the Internet has raised pressing

questions about the capacity of existing legal

frameworks to effectively regulate its use. To some

extent, those questions were addressed in Dow Jones

& Company Inc v Gutnick, I in which the High Court

considered whether to reshape the law of defamation

as it applies to material published on the Internet. The

case represented the first occasion on which such an

issue had fallen for consideration by a nation's ultimate

court of appeal. Consequently, it attracted considerable

media and academic attention, and the court's decision

is likely to have significant implications in a range of

areas of legal practice.