QLD Defamation for Comments in Private Email?

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Technically yes. For a defamation action to be successful, three elements must be satisfied:
  1. the information is communicated by you to a third person other than the claimant (publication);
  2. the material identifies the claimant (identification); and
  3. the information/material contains content that is defamatory (defamatory content).
To establish publication you only need to publish the information to one other person besides the claimant. If that person that you show also spreads the content then they can also be held liable for defamation. However the claimant will need to prove to the court that the content was such that it injured their reputation, exposed them to ridicule or contempt, caused people to shun them, etc. Its more difficult to prove when only one person receives publication.