I, like many legally-minded people in Australia, was last week transfixed by the interlocutory judgment delivered by Wigney J in Faruqi v Latham  FCA 1328 (‘Faruqi’). That judgment is worth reading, in its entirety, even if you have no interest in defamation law or Australian politics. I extract one of my favourite portions below (from -):
Mr Latham’s defence is, on just about any view, an extraordinary document. In order to address Mr Faruqi’s strike out application, it is necessary to attempt to come to grips with it. That is no mean feat.
There are 12 “parts” to the defence. There are also nine schedules.
Part A of the defence purports to deal with the interpretation of the defence. It needs to be read in conjunction with Schedule I, which is said to be a “dictionary” of words and expressions used in the defence. … One example from the dictionary will perhaps suffice to give a general flavour of what is under consideration. The expression “the Bowdlerization” is defined in the dictionary as follows:
the expression, referred to in subparagraph 65(b)(ii) of this pleading:
• which Latham used in lieu of the word “fucked”;
• comprising the name of the letter “F” followed by the past participial suffix “-ed”; and
• sounding roughly like “effed”.
However, this is a constitutional law blog that takes no interest in the law of defamation. And so I came away from this judgment with just one question: ‘why on earth is an action in defamation being heard in the Federal Court?’ Defamation being, as you will all know, probably most fairly characterised as a common law claim with such statutory influence as the particular State (or Territory – this is foreshadowing) has exerted. What business does a Commonwealth court have hearing such a matter?
A number of other tweets posted by Mr Faruqi concern the lack of cultural and gender diversity in positions of power or influence in Australian society, and the sense of entitlement amongst those who do occupy power; mainly “white” men. For example, on 20 July 2016, Mr Faruqi tweeted:
‘Labradors are to dogs what straight white dudes are to politics. Boring, too common, entitled.’
This tweet may well have been offensive to owners of Labradors, or perhaps even Labradors themselves. Some readers may well have considered that it was a fairly crude and simplistic way for Mr Faruqi to make his point. Others may have been simply amused. Either way, it hardly constitutes vilification.
Faruqi v Latham  FCA 1328