NSW SLAPPs/David Jones Ltd v The Australia Institute
In December 2006 the giant retailing company David Jones Limited, commonly referred to as David Jones, launched legal action against the Canberra-based think tank, The Australia Institute and its Director, Clive Hamilton over the launch of a report analysing the sexualisation of children in advertising. The suit alleges the report, title "Corporate Paedophilia", breaches the provisions of the Trade Practices Act outlawing misleading and deceptive conduct.
On May 2, 2008, DJ's filed a notice with the court to discontinue its action. DJ's dropped its action after reaching an agreement with the Australia Institute and its former executive director, Clive Hamilton. Hamilton told ABC's PR program "I'm very pleased with the outcome. I'm happy that an agreement has been reached and the case has been discontinued. ... Like many people I was more than surprised, I was astonished that David Jones should pursue this case. Whatever they thought about the merits of their argument it seemed to be an extremely difficult case to win in the court of public opinion."
The Australia Institute Report
- The Australia Institute, "Corporate paedophilia: Sexualising children by advertising and marketing", Media Release, October 9, 2006.
- Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze, "Corporate Paedophilia: Sexualisation of children in Australia", The Australian Institute, Discussion Paper Number 90, October 2006. (Table of Contents and Executive Summary only - full version can be purchased online from here).
A later report and media release on the same topic are:
- Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze, "Letting Children be Children: Stopping the sexualisation of children in Australia", The Australia Institute, Discussion Paper, December 2006.
- The Australia Institute, "Sexualisation of children – stronger regulation needed", Media Release, December 12, 2006.
Link to Online Court Record
- Federal Court, NSD2490/2006.
- Mark O'Brien, Johnson Winter & Slattery (for DJs), Application, December 20, 2007.(Pdf)
- Mark O'Brien, Johnson Winter & Slattery (for DJs), DJ's Statement of Claim, December 20, 2007.(Pdf)
- Archibald Adrian Howe, Kennedys (for TAI), Defence of First and Second Respondents, February 23, 2007. (Pdf)
- Archibald Adrian Howe, Kennedys (for TAI), Notice of Motion, February 27, 2007. (Pdf)
- Preliminary hearing on Notice of Motion, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney, March 22, 2007.
Campaign Website on the Case
- There's no other lawsuit like David Jones Campaign Website
Other SourceWatch resources
- Kathryn Roberts, "David Jones denies corporate paedophillia claims", PM, ABC Radio National, October 10, 2006.
- Matt Peacock, "Institute stands by 'Corporate Paedophilia' report", 7.30 Report, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, October 11, 2006.
- "Sex, Lies and Advertising: David Jones Firm sues over Child Exploitation claims", Digital Journal, February 4, 2007. (This is an AAP story).
- "David Jones condemned by journalists' union", The West Australian, February 5, 2007.
- Glenn Dyer, "How David Jones deals with its social critics", Crikey.com.au, February 5, 2007.
- Adele Horin, "Sex, lies and advertising - DJs sues over child exploitation claims", Sydney Morning Herald, February 5, 2006. (Also published in The Age under the title "DJs goes to court over erotic ads claim").
- "Australia retailer denies paedophilia pictures claim", Reuters, February 6, 2007.
- Caroline Overington, "Innocent seduction: Where some see pornography others just see a child wearing nice clothes", The Australian, February 7, 2007.
- Kenneth Nguyen, "David Jones yet to learn lesson of the lawsuit", The Age, February 7 2007.
- Brendan Shanahan, "'Sexy' kids a parental problem", The Daily Telegraph, February 9, 2007.
- Richard Ackland, "Powerful always find ways to silence criticism", Sydney Morning Herald, March 2, 2007.
- "Think tank in bid to escape DJs suit", Australian Financial Review, March 22, 2007, page 10.
- Sophie Black, "David Jones drops corporate paedophilia case against think tank", Crikey.com.au, May 7, 2008.
- "David Jones drops legal action over child exploitation claims", ABC News, May 7, 2008.
- Karen Barlow, "David Jones drops 'corporate paedophilia' law suit", "PM", ABC Radio National, May 7, 2008.