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Seminars, interviews & commentary Articles from 2017
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Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 3, 2017  
Searching for defamation law reform

Who should bear liability for the publication of defamatory material via a search engine? UNSW media law academic Dr Daniel Joyce reviews the case law in Australia in light of UK law and an up-coming High Court consideration of the issues … There is an urgent need for clarity, and for statutory reform ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 23, 2017  
Questions of contempt

The Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision not to refer three federal ministers for prosecution of contempt raises unanswered questions about freedom of speech and the constitution … Sydney University Professor of Law and author Dr David Rolph asks whether the implied freedom of political communication applies to criticism of the judiciary ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 5, 2017  
Supreme Court of Canada upholds worldwide Google blocking injunction

Controversial judgment by the Supreme Court of Canada upholds worldwide injunction forcing Google to remove websites from search results … London-based media and information law specialist Hugh Tomlinson QC reviews the decision and its implications ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 14, 2017  
The year in Australian media law

Defamation law in urgent need of reform, mainstream media actions on the up, social media actions become a trend, suppression orders continue unabated, journalist shield laws appear to be working … Media lawyers Peter Bartlett and Sam White look at the past year ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 13, 2017  
New Zealand defamation law update

Since the beginning of 2016 New Zealand defamation law has seen some interesting developments in respect of the Jameel principle and the defence of qualified privilege … Wellington barrister Ali Romanos reviews the cases and the judgments ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 31, 2017  
Where did all the privacy injunctions go?

Official UK statistics for privacy injunctions are blindingly inaccurate and incomplete, says Dr Judith Townend of The Transparency Project ... The Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service need to do much more ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 16, 2017  
Mexican attorney receives apology and libel damages from the Guardian

Interesting case involving multiple republications and the liability of the original publisher results in damages and apology from the Guardian .... Persephone Bridgman Baker looks at how the law fails to deal with the rapid spread of information via the internet, and who’s responsible ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 8, 2017  
Music piracy site-blocking injunction granted

Copyright case brought by music industry against ISP companies is a further implementation of important new powers in the fight against piracy, says Sydney copyright lawyer Eli Fisher ... But will it result in lower rates of piracy? ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 4, 2017  
Automated censorship is not the answer to extremism

A recent (UK) Home Affairs Select Committee report into extremist videos and posts on social media has made “unbalanced” recommendations which threaten free expression, says Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 20, 2017  
Film review - "Denial"

The famous defamation action brought by Holocaust denier David Irving against American academic Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books has been turned into a “satisfying courtroom drama”, according to Sydney University Professor of Law and author Dr David Rolph ... The film has resonance in Australia too ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 12, 2017  
Social media, defamation and damages

The rise of social media platforms has not seen a concomitant increase in defamation actions in Australian courts … But what of the damages for social media defamation? ... The Gazette looks at the past four years ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 4, 2017  
Fake news and defamation war stories

Sydney’s media law fraternity gathered for a lively seminar on fake news, freedom of speech and defamation law … And to trade pre-publication war stories in a city bar … Reports from the front line ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 31, 2017  
Freedom of speech, fake news and alternative facts

In this paper, presented at the Law Council of Australia’s International Law Section seminar, NSW District Court Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson looks at the balance between freedom of speech and reputation in a post-truth, digital world … more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 29, 2017  
Imputations - should a jury consider them separately?

Is the time right for a return to a section 7A-style, split trial regime where the jury decides the issue of imputations separately? Barrister Bruce Connell examines some recent evidence in this paper, and argues that it would be most unwise ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 27, 2017  
When is a true imputation contextual?

Two very different interpretations of the contextual truth defence have emerged in recent decisions of the NSW Supreme Court … Media lawyer and author Patrick George attempts to make sense of the vexed issue of “pleading back” in theory, and in practice ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 24, 2017  
Businessman awarded damages for defamation and "sophisticated campaign of harassment"

Defamation and harassment on social media and on the street result in damages of £80,000 to a London businessman accused of murdering a TV presenter … David Hill reviews a judgment involving public interest, privacy, serious harm and reasonableness ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 22, 2017  
Twitter, defamation and "serious harm"

The recent UK Twitter libel case involving a food blogger and a controversial columnist highlights how current defamation law applies to the “Wild West” of social media … Sydney University Professor of Law and author David Rolph reviews the judgment in light of the “serious harm” test ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 14, 2017  
18C and D going nowhere fast

The parliamentary human rights committee report on sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act is unlikely to compel any change … Legal affairs columnist Richard Ackland explains why there is no political appetite (or popular support) for George Brandis’ “right to be bigots” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 13, 2017  
Reasonableness - an issue for judge or jury?

Should reasonableness in the statutory qualified privilege defence be decided by judge or jury? In this paper, barrister Bruce Connell examines section 30 of the Defamation Act 2005 and concludes there are three bases on which the question should be determined by the trial judge ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 9, 2017  
Lange, free speech and culture wars within the ADF

No one should be surprised – especially media companies – that a former army reservist who posted vitriolic anti-gay and anti-Muslim material on social media is not afforded the protection of Lange, says media lawyer Graham Hryce ... It is a “fourth rate freedom” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 6, 2017  
Suppression orders vs open justice

A recent high profile criminal case highlights how the wide use of suppression orders in Victoria is undermining open justice and strengthening the case for an open justice advocate, writes Melbourne University academic Jason Bosland ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 15, 2017  
UKIP MEP to pay 162,000 damages to three MPs over child abuse scandal remarks

UKIP member of the European Parliament to pay £162,000 damages to three Labour MPs over libelous comments she made at a party conference … Britain’s High Court rejects the defendant’s argument that her remarks were “political speech” ... The Press Association’s Jan Colley reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 9, 2017  
The future of news: Journalism in a post-truth era

Harvard University recently hosted a discussion on journalism and truth in the era of Trump … Luminaries from the print and online worlds offered no immediate solutions to the problems of “post-truth”, according to Hannah Ryan, who was there ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    January 31, 2017  
lnternet publication, liability and context

The recent Victorian Court of Appeal judgment involving Google illustrates the complexity inherent in applying defamation law to internet publication … Sydney media law academic Dr David Rolph explains why context is paramount ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    January 25, 2017  
Law reform should protect, not harm creators

The Productivity Commission’s recommendations for reform of Australian intellectual property law has not only failed to deliver protection for creators, they actually work against innovation … Sydney copyright lawyer Eli Fisher critiques the report ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    January 23, 2017  
New Zealand defamation law: 2016 in review

Political defamation cases featured in New Zealand in 2016 … As well as record damages and the Jameel doctrine … Wellington defamation lawyer Ali Romanos reviews the media law year that was ... more