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Seminars, interviews & commentary Articles from 2014
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Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 17, 2014  
Highlights and lowlights of 2014

The Gazette asked a handful of savvy media law types to choose the highlights and lowlights of the year that was … Some consensus emerged, at least in terms of UK developments ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 9, 2014  
Press needs a regulator to protect itself - and the rest of us

The case for independent regulation of the British press gets a boost following revelations about the methods of former News of the World reporter Mazher Mahmood, the so-called “Fake Sheik” ... Goldsmiths Professor of Journalism Angela Phillips explains why ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 28, 2014  
Book Review: Social Media and the Law

This timely tome, edited by Patrick George, looks at social media and the law in a number of areas and from a range of perspectives … Barrister Richard Potter gave it a test read and predicts it will be much quoted ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 21, 2014  
Litigating media privacy cases

The Australian Law Reform Commission recently proposed a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy … But what privacy protection is currently available to privacy litigants and how should lawyers approach media privacy cases? Nina Ubaldi went along to a recent CMCL seminar to find out ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 16, 2014  
The "right to be forgotten" in practice

Since the controversial “right to be forgotten” decision in Spain in relation to Google search engine results, there have been over half a million URL removal requests … UK lawyers Sara Mansoori and Eloise Le Santo investigate in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 11, 2014  
Data retention: The potential impact of metadata

The federal government’s plan for telecommunications companies to retain metadata has worrying implications for all stakeholders … Sydney lawyer Patrick Fair examines the potential impact on journalists’ sources, personal privacy and civil litigation ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 10, 2014  
Book Review: The Journalist's Guide to Media Law

It’s a legal minefield out there for journalists, bloggers and posters of material online … Happily, there is guidance for all in the latest edition of Mark Pearson and Mark Polden’s The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law ... ABC lawyer Lynette Houssarini reviews a very handy handbook ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 7, 2014  
The blogger and the journalist

Two important media law judgments from New Zealand’s High Court … Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater is deemed a journalist, but fails to prevent further publication of his private (hacked) emails … Barrister Steven Price reviews the decisions ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 2, 2014  
Blocking injunctions and the court's unlimited jurisdiction to make orders

A recent British High Court site-blocking injunction judgment could have far-reaching implications for defamation and privacy cases, according to Inforrm’s Hugh Tomlinson QC ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 29, 2014  
Defamation law in Australia not as uniform as expected

NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum’s decision that the Hore-Lacy defence “has no work to do in NSW” will no doubt be appealed … Sydney University media law academic Dr David Rolph writes that it should be, in the interests of substantive defamation law reform ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 28, 2014  
Hore-Lacy defence dismissed in NSW

Hore-Lacy is no more in NSW, thanks to another bold decision by the Supreme Court’s Defamation List Judge Lucy McCallum … Sydney lawyer Graham Hryce explains why media defendants should welcome the judgment ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 21, 2014  
UK government announces new "revenge porn" legislation

The UK parliament is set to ratify new laws related to “revenge porn” ... In this Inforrm article Alexia Bedat reviews the offence in light of similar legislation elsewhere ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 17, 2014  
An opportunity missed to enhance press freedom

In this article, UK media law academic Dr Paul Wragg critiques the Australian media’s response to the ALRC’s privacy proposals and concludes that by resisting the very idea, the media missed an important opportunity to define the public interest ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 15, 2014  
Privacy Report Interview - Barbara McDonald

The ALRC report on Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era surprised no one by recommending an actionable tort of privacy … In this interview, the commissioner for the inquiry, Professor Barbara McDonald, reveals the forces at play and the thinking behind the report’s key features ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 15, 2014  
Barbara McDonald Interview - Part Two
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 15, 2014  
Barbara McDonald Interview - Part Three
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 12, 2014  
Defamation Act 2013: Serious harm a win for the press?

The “serious harm” threshold in the UK’s Defamation Act 2013 has resulted in a decision that is a “worrying development” for libel lawyers according to Oliver Fetiveau ... This article from Inforrm ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 2, 2014  
Abuse, ridicule, satire and fiction

“If a man in jest conveys a serious imputation, he jests at his peril”... Barrister Richard Potter discusses the actionable implications in this paper, which he presented at the recent NSW State Legal Conference ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 2, 2014  
It came from cyberspace

Another timely paper from the NSW District Court’s Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson ... This one looks at defamation and the internet, from both the plaintiff and defendant points of view ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 1, 2014  
Is Whale Oil a journalist?

Legal wrangle in New Zealand over confidential sources turns on the definition of a journalist … Steven Price looks at the case involving a blogger, a businessman and a book called Dirty Politics ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 29, 2014  
Disproportionate defamation claims in NSW

In this paper, presented at a recent UNSW defamation and media law seminar, barrister Matthew Lewis examines the application of the Jameel principle in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – and now in NSW ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 28, 2014  
UNSW seminar: Recent developments in defamation and media law

Papers, comments, questions … This week’s UNSW seminar on defamation and media law featured a range of points of view and included some interesting thoughts from NSW Supreme Court Defamation List Judge Lucy McCallum … Nina Ubaldi reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 27, 2014  
"Ridiculousness": Ridicule and defamatory meaning in the age of the internet

A defamation and media law seminar at the College of Law, Sydney, presents some novel ideas in light of the internet … NSW District Court Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson delivers an entertaining paper ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 26, 2014  
Interview: Julian Petley

One of the most prominent campaigners for media freedom in the UK, Julian Petley, kindly agreed to answer some questions from Simon Dawes on phone-hacking, the Snowden leaks, the fallout from the Leveson Inquiry, and IPSO, the new self-regulatory body for the press ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 18, 2014  
A landmark judgment

The recent application of the Jameel principle of proportionality to permanently stay proceedings is a landmark Australian judgment with interesting ramifications for justice, according to media law academic Dr David Rolph ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 11, 2014  
Free speech symposium 2014

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s free speech symposium featured 23 speakers, all freely expressing their differing views on the subject … Kate Lilly was there for the duration ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 10, 2014  
Free speech speech - Mark Dreyfus QC

When the Human Rights Commission invited the shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus QC to speak about free speech at a recent symposium in Sydney, he didn’t mince his words … In today’s Australia, “Voltaire’s principle is honoured only in the breach”... ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 9, 2014  
Open justice and reporting information about a suspect

A recent UK Court of Appeal judgment has reaffirmed the principle of open justice when reporting criminal proceedings that take place in open court … But as Inforrm’s Hugh Tomlinson QC comments, it was misreported in some quarters ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 4, 2014  
Assessment of damages in a libel claim

A recent UK libel damages award illustrates the disparity between amounts awarded for defamation and those awarded for invasions of privacy … Sara Mansoori takes a closer look in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 30, 2014  
Online Copyright Infringement: Discussion paper preview

The Australian government’s Online Copyright Infringement discussion paper has been leaked ahead of its official release … Rocco Rinaldo looks at what’s in store … more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 28, 2014  
Liberty and the press: UK press reform, the "spirit of Leveson" and the threat to audience interests

UK media law academic Dr Paul Wragg examines the government’s fumbling response to Lord Justice Leveson’s proposals for press reform, the “hysterical” response of the press itself and where that now leaves press freedom ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 16, 2014  
Open courts: Who guards the guardians?

In this paper, presented at the Open Justice seminar organised by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at UTS and the Rule of Law Institute of Australia, chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Philip Cummins QC examines the conflict between open courts legislation and a judicial culture of suppression … more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 8, 2014  
Throwing the book at the Chief Judge

Information gathered by Kim Dotcom’s biographer (a journalist) is subject to New Zealand’s Privacy Act, according to a recent High Court judgment … Steven Price explains why he thinks the Chief Judge got it wrong ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 26, 2014  
Collins on defamation

Media law academic and practitioner Dr Matt Collins QC has written a new book incorporating the UK Defamation Act 2013 ... Prue Innes asked him about this, and why Australian defamation law reform lags so far behind ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 18, 2014  
Patently obvious: US Supreme Court decisions

The US Supreme Court has recently delivered four important intellectual property decisions, clarifying aspects of the US Patents Act … Rocco Rinaldo summarises the key points and their ramifications ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 13, 2014  
Secret trials: A little transparency, a lot to worry about

The UK Court of Appeal has decided that some parts of an upcoming terrorism trial will be open to the public … However, media law academic Lawrence McNamara finds other important aspects of the decision worrying ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 10, 2014  
Secret trials: Secrecy at the expense of justice

As the UK Court of Appeal considers whether to conduct a terrorism trial entirely in secret, media law academic Lawrence McNamara considers the implications for open justice in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 10, 2014  
Judges, cyberspace and social media

NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson looks at the vexed issues surrounding judges, courts, cyberspace and social media in a recent discussion paper prepared for the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 9, 2014  
Question Time - Kate McClymont

The Obeids, Keddies, the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Health Services Union ….. Fairfax scribe Kate McClymont has been exposing crime, corruption and skulduggery for almost 30 years … The intrepid investigative journalist recently shared a few insights (and some insider tips) with the Gazette ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 8, 2014  
Kate McClymont - Part Two
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 8, 2014  
Kate McClymont - Part Three
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 8, 2014  
Translucent justice: Reporting restrictions in the UK

A simple online database would help journalists avoid committing inadvertent contempt and enable researchers to monitor the nature and number of day-to-day restrictions, suggests Judith Townend ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 5, 2014  
Justice open and shut

Culture of suppression orders continues … “Silent listings” uncovered in Victoria … Former Supreme Court Justice says part of new Act is “dangerous” ... Even greater restrictions in the UK … The recent Justice Open and Shut seminar in full flight ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 4, 2014  
NZ Law Commission seeks to clarify law of contempt

New Zealand’s Law Comission recently released a discussion paper on the law of contempt … Steven Price finds much to admire in its attempt to clarify the law, but finds its recommendations on “publication” contempt problematic ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 4, 2014  
Suppression orders: A fine balance

Media lawyer Peter Bartlett presented this paper at the recent seminar, Justice Open and Shut: Suppression Orders and Open Justice in Australia and the UK, held at the University of Technology, Sydney ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 27, 2014  
How far does the "right to be forgotten" extend?

A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice has given impetus to an individual’s “right to be forgotten” ... UK media lawyer Ashley Hurst looks at the implications for search engines and others in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 26, 2014  
Does Australia need a statutory right to privacy?

Media lawyers Justin Quill and Peter Bartlett argue that Australia already has laws to protect serious invasions of privacy and warn against the chilling effect on reporting that a statutory right to privacy would have ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 26, 2014  
Does Australia need a statutory right to privacy?

Barrister Tom Blackburn SC reviews the current media and social media landscape and considers it is time for a “personally enforceable tort of privacy” – one which doesn’t discourage investigative journalism ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 23, 2014  
Does Australia need a statutory right to privacy?

The Australian Law Reform Commission recently came out in support of a statutory right to privacy … Media law academic Dr David Rolph suggests the courts themselves may develop a cause of action that doesn’t impinge on free speech ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 13, 2014  
Martin Place protesters lose Lange case

Is Australia’s constitutionally implied freedom of expression doomed to failure? A recent case involving protest movement Occupy Sydney and the City of Sydney has done little to alter the trend … Gabriella Rubagotti explains why ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 12, 2014  
Privacy in court proceedings: Exposed

Should the price of justice necessarily include the public exposure of private, sometimes damaging, and arguably irrelevant information? Dominic Crossley looks at the competing interests in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 8, 2014  
Hockey to sue Fairfax (or not)

What are the federal treasurer Joe Hockey’s chances of success if he sues Fairfax over its front-page lead, Treasurer for Sale? ... Graham Hryce looks at the story and its possible defences ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 16, 2014  
Opening the door to bloggers

New Zealand’s Press Council has grand plans to include bloggers in its membership, and regulatory orbit … But what are its chances of getting them to sign up? And will the same standards apply? Steven Price canvasses the issues ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 4, 2014  
Treading a fine line: Balancing privacy and public interest in law reform

The Australian Law Reform Commission has just released its Discussion Paper on privacy in the digital era … In this article, Commissioner in charge of the inquiry, Professor Barbara McDonald, outlines the thinking behind the proposal for a new statutory tort of privacy ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 3, 2014  
RDA changes would amplify prejudice

As debate continues about the federal government’s proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act, Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane explains how the changes would work to encourage racial prejudice and its outward expression ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 31, 2014  
Defamation, political speech, meaning and comment

A recent UK decision illustrates the defence of comment at work to protect the “stuff of political disagreement” ... Anthony Hudson analyses the judgment in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 24, 2014  
Politicians, contempt and the media

Did the Prime Minister Tony Abbott cross a line when he commented on the ABC defending the defamation action brought by columnist for The Australian, Chris Kenny? ... Media law academic Dr David Rolph examines the authorities ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 20, 2014  
Anti-discrimination and free speech perspectives

A recent seminar at the Law Society of NSW heard from a panel of legal experts about the wisdom, or otherwise, of repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act ... In this paper Tom Blackburn SC argues that “a moral entitlement merely not to be offended or insulted is not a fit subject for legislation” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 20, 2014  
The ALRC Copyright Report and its reaction

Debate is raging in the wake of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s final report on Copyright and the Digital Economy ... Eli Fisher reviews the key recommendations and the divided responses to it ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 18, 2014  
Shield laws in Australia and the quest for journalists' sources

The WA Supreme Court last week allowed Fairfax Media to seek special costs against Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting after the mining magnate withdrew her bid to compel journalist Adele Ferguson to reveal her sources … Peter Bartlett and Amanda Jolson review the current state of shield laws in Australia alongside some recent sources disclosure cases ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 7, 2014  
Miranda: A worrying attack on public interest journalism

UK High Court hands down “chilling” decision in which national security overrides press freedom … Eloise Le Santo examines the reasoning in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 25, 2014  
Privilege and reporting the contents of documents read by the court

No clear statutory or judicial guidelines exist for the reporting of documents not read out in court … In this Inforrm article, Hugh Tomlinson QC argues that such instances should be protected in the interests of open justice ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 17, 2014  
Lange and the politics of election funding

Late last year the High Court once again considered Lange implied freedom of political communication, albeit in a non-media context. Media lawyer Graham Hryce examines the court’s not unsurprising finding ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 16, 2014  
Pressing for press accountability in Britain

The Impress Project is developing a form of independent self-regulation for the British press … In this article, its founding director Jonathan Heawood outlines how freedom of the press and a civil society could be made compatible ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 12, 2014  
Why New Zealand's cyber-bullying bill is a good move

A bill dealing with cyber-bullying is currently before the New Zealand parliament … Barrister Steven Price argues that giving judges the power to issue take-down orders is the right response to online harassment ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 10, 2014  
Anonymity and defamation

How is an anonymous plaintiff compatible with the public vindication of damage to reputation? ... And what is the nature of the evolving relationship between defamation and privacy? Media law academic Dr David Rolph reflects on two significant cases ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 4, 2014  
Privacy and the internet

A recent UK High Court decision determined that the misuse of private information is a tort … Sydney media law academic Dr David Rolph looks at the ramifications for the development of a privacy law in Australia ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    January 29, 2014  
Commonwealth public sector whistleblower laws: How workable are they?

After years of government committees and numerous recommendations and amendments, Australia finally has legislation to protect whistleblowers in the Commonwealth public sector … Peter Timmins looks at how workable it is ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    January 20, 2014  
Inertia over: How Twitter is now grasping the nettle

In this Inforrm article, UK cyber lawyers Rhory Robertson and Tom Double review Twitter’s response to the rise of trolls and the spread of false information ... more