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Seminars, interviews & commentary Articles from 2009
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Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 7, 2009  
Question Time - Gail Hambly

Gail Hambly has been Group General Counsel at Fairfax for sixteen years. In this interview, she shares her perspective on the past, present and future of journalism – in light of a changing media law landscape ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 16, 2009  
Access all areas (not)

A proposed overhaul of legislation governing access to court documents in NSW has failed to address key concerns. Prue Innes examines where the draft Bill goes fundamentally wrong and asks why it can’t accommodate the realities of court reporting by enshrining public access in the public interest ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 5, 2009  
The jury's still out

Johnson Winter & Slattery’s recent media law seminar proved a fertile battleground for discussion about the role and value of juries, the failures of the new uniform Defamation Act and whether or not a topless waitress is a prostitute ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 4, 2009  
White House softens new shield laws

The closer the Obama administration comes to ratifying new federal shield laws for journalists, the more they resemble “protections” under Bush. Michael Cameron reports on the pervasive power of national security interests that will compel journalists to reveal their sources ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 14, 2009  
Conferenceville - London

The Media Law Resource Centre’s conference was held recently over two days in London. Stephen Collins, who led the session on libel law developments, reports on the highlights ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 13, 2009  
Question Time - Peter McClellan

Justice Peter McClellan was appointed NSW’s Chief Judge at Common Law in 2005 after a distinguished career at the bar and on the bench. In this interview, he shares his sometimes-controversial views on juries, the new uniform Defamation Act, costs, damages and the media ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 4, 2009  
Crawling away from liability

Stephen Collins reports from London on Justice Eady’s unexpected landmark Google judgment, which found search engines are not publishers in any liable sense ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 18, 2009  
How uniform is the uniform Defamation Act?

Three years after the introduction of the Defamation Act (2005), are the states and territories putting the same spin on the national uniform defamation laws? Michaela Whitbourn looks at the evidence so far ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 17, 2009  
Kant stand it: Breach of confidence and the right to privacy

Melbourne University Professor of Law Megan Richardson examines the development of privacy law from Kant’s dignitarian approach to breach of confidence – and suggests that a different language of privacy is required to deal with modern reality ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 14, 2009  
London casenotes

Sir Elton in yet another (libel) suit, not quite malicious goings-on in council and “vicious” publication to one’s wife. Stephen Collins reports from London on three recent libel decisions dealing with satire, malice and limited publication ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 9, 2009  
The new US media shield laws

Unlike Australia, journalists’ shield laws in the US are being toughened up to provide some real protection. Michael Cameron reports on how far the new national shield laws are expected to go – even covering bloggers … more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 6, 2009  
Uniformly varied

More than three years after the introduction of Australia’s uniform Defamation Act (2005) how is it travelling? A smattering of media law practitioners and a handful of judges agreed to share some pithy (and varied) views with the Gazette ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 15, 2009  
Journalists' shield laws - no protection at all

Sydney media lawyer Richard Keegan reports on the federal government’s recent lame attempt to strengthen journalists’ shield laws. As expected, nothing changes when it comes to the protection of confidential sources ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 15, 2009  
Anti-terrorism laws and the Australian media

Reading University law academic Lawrence McNamara has spent the last two years researching the impact of anti-terrorism laws on the Australian media. While he finds “disquiet” and “nervousness” among journalists, it doesn’t quite amount to a “chilling” effect. More worrying is the very real issue of limited access to information ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 26, 2009  
SLAPP litigation in Australia

Media lawyer and consultant Bruce Donald reviews the current state of SLAPP litigation in Australia and finds that the problem remains serious – at least for those outside the mainstream media who criticise conduct in the public interest ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 7, 2009  
Press freedom - no right to behave badly

London-based media lawyer Stephen Collins reviews the recent High Court of Australia decision concerning the “media safe-harbour” and concludes that press freedom has not been dealt a body blow. Today Tonight’s journalism was “simple sloppiness” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 27, 2009  
A welcome return to principle

University of Sydney media law academic Dr David Rolph welcomes the recent High Court decision on “business defamation” as a return to basic principle. Gacic is laid to rest at last ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 2, 2009  
Polden on Collins on Hanson

Sydney media lawyer Mark Polden takes issue with Stephen Collins over his analysis of the Pauline Hanson fake nude photos affair. He argues that the former fish ‘n chip shop owner and One Nation leader may well have grounds for a cause of action ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 1, 2009  
Defamation and media law, Fiji-style

NSW District Court Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson takes a look at two recent Fiji High Court media law decisions that saw press freedom under attack and the independence of the judiciary sorely challenged ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 26, 2009  
Pauline Hanson: Litigant without a cause

Now that the brouhaha over The Sunday Telegraph’s publication of fake nude photos of Pauline Hanson has all but abated, what can the “untamed and unashamed” redhead from Ipswich actually sue over? Stephen Collins looks at the possibilities and finds that Hanson may be a litigant without a cause ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 25, 2009  
Freedom of Speech conference - highlights and lowlights

A rich assortment of reptiles, lawyers, academics, policy makers, public servants and PR flacks assembled at the Sofitel Wentworth for the Freedom of Speech conference, hosted by Australia’s Right to Know. The Gazette was also there ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 6, 2009  
Whistleblower protections - narrow, unworkable and unhelpful

The Australian Press Council’s Policy Officer Inez Ryan reviews the recently released Whistleblower Protection Report and finds it offers virtually no protection at all for whistleblowers who go directly to the media. The proposed criteria are narrow, unworkable and unhelpful ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 16, 2009  
FOI law amendments - more rhetoric than reform

What is the Rudd government really doing with Australia’s FOI laws? Mark Polden reports that contrary to expectation and proclamation, the freedom to know is being severely limited by a whole new set of “exclusions” reminiscent of the Cold War 50s ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 12, 2009  
"Magic Alex" - an inference too far

Stephen Collins reports from London on how Justice Eady single-handedly resurrected “libel tourism” in the “Magic Alex” case by relying (in part) on the words of our own Justice Ian Callinan – to make an inference too far ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    January 29, 2009  
Cursing the ordinary

Why shouldn’t defamation jurors give their own personal views on meaning? And what part does “public opinion” currently play in a juror’s deliberations? From London, Stephen Collins traverses the uneven ground occupied by the “ordinary person” in the light of the recent and notorious Sachsgate affair ... more