Mark Bahnisch | The Bolt case: cutting through pontification to find motive


Mark Bahnisch, in ABC’s The Drum, analyses the outcome of Andrew Bolt’s recent racial discrimination lawsuit. Other commentators on the case have argued that Andrew Bolt’s comments should have been charged under defamation laws rather than racial discrimination laws. Mark Bahnisch analyses the merits of both of these approaches and looks at the impact of the decision.

In the plethora of pontification that has proliferated in the wake of Justice Mordecai Bromberg’s decision in Eatock v. Bolt, advice to the plaintiffs has been freely on offer. Almost unanimously, commentators have suggested that the complainants, rather than bringing an action under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, ought rather to have brought an action for defamation. Interestingly, and significantly, this sentiment has been articulated across the spectrum – by journalists and lawyers, and by political commentators and activists of both left and right.

Also significantly, and equally as interestingly, there are very few voices to be found defending the substance and content of Andrew Bolt’s columns on “light skinned Aborigines”, while many raise the tattered banner of freedom of speech.

You can find the original article here in ABC’s The Drum.


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