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Seminars, interviews & commentary Articles from 2015
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Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 17, 2015  
"A great addition to legal scholarship"

More praise (none of it faint) for Dr David Rolph’s scholarly new book Defamation Law ... QLD Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth explains why it deserves to be the go-to text for defamation law reform ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 7, 2015  
Book Review: Defamation Law

Sydney University media law academic Dr David Rolph has just published his fourth book, Defamation Law ... It is “a vital contribution, not only to the identification and clarification of defamation law, but to the law reform debate generally”, says the NSW District Court’s Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 6, 2015  
Question Time - Lucy McCallum

NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum manages the country’s biggest defamation list and has delivered some controversial media law judgments involving journalist’s sources and the offer of amends and contextual truth defences … She agreed to expose her thinking on these issues, and much more, in this exclusive interview ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 6, 2015  
Lucy McCallum - Part 2
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 4, 2015  
"Dennis Denuto", triviality and proportionality

Queensland’s recent “Dennis Denuto” defamation case illustrates the relationship between triviality and proportionality and highlights the lack of uniformity in Australian defamation law, says media law academic and author Dr David Rolph ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 24, 2015  
Newspaper archive to be hidden from internet searches, but no "re-writing of history"

Right to be forgotten case illustrates the “proper and proportionate” balance of privacy and freedom of expression in respect of newspaper archives, says Inforrm’s Hugh Tomlinson QC ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 23, 2015  
Paddling in the backwater: Australian courts and online defamation

Two recent Australian judgments involving online defamation illustrate just how far the common law here is lagging behind the rest of the world, according to author, academic and barrister Dr Matt Collins QC ... What we need is urgent legislative reform ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 9, 2015  
Suing Facebook is no easy matter

The UK High Court dismisses defamation and privacy actions against Facebook and Google over “imposter” posts … The social media platform is not responsible for publication because it has no ability to control content ... Rosalind English reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 4, 2015  
Beware the tweet

The humble tweet continues to be the subject of defamation proceedings … In this article, Melbourne media lawyer Peter Bartlett examines the perils (and costs) of social media in light of existing laws and the threat to free speech ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 28, 2015  
London or bust...

This year’s Media Law Resource Centre conference in London featured free speech, privacy, press regulation, tabloid journalism, drones, judges, journalists and some very fine cocktails at the House of Lords … The Gazette couldn’t resist ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 28, 2015  
The TPP and IP in Australia: business as usual or wholesale change?

Will Australia’s IP regime undergo a major shift as a result of the Trans Pacific Partnership? Rocco Rinaldo compares our existing laws with the “final” IP chapter of the agreement, leaked earlier this month ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 18, 2015  
Lange becomes much more complex

A recent decision of the majority of the High Court has made Lange implied freedom of communication on governmental and political matters even more convoluted … Sydney media lawyer Graham Hryce examines the detail ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    October 16, 2015  
IPSO and press regulation

Independent regulation in action, or an ineffective, self-interested body? This year’s Media Law Resource Centre conference in London heard a spirited defence of the UK’s new press regulator, IPSO, by its flamboyant chair Sir Alan Moses QC ... Read his address in full … more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 22, 2015  
Leveson is happening at last

The first of the big reforms recommended by the Leveson Inquiry promises fairer (and much cheaper) access to justice in respect of libel and privacy claims … As professor of journalism Brian Cathcart notes in this Inforrm article, it should be welcomed by the media ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 17, 2015  
Can online dispute resolution deliver better access to justice?

A UK report recommending an eBay-style online dispute resolution for low value civil claims has met with cautious approval … How will it work in practice and what are the main issues? Information law and policy researcher Judith Townend investigates ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 11, 2015  
A matter of substance - or heresy perhaps

The process of defamation law and practice is in dire need of reform, according to media lawyer and author Patrick George ... He proposes some radical measures, including the abolition of juries and the assertion of meaning by both the plaintiff and the defendant, in this comprehensive paper ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 2, 2015  
The trouble with Australian defamation law - 5

An Australian First Amendment may be a bridge too far … However, News Corp Australia’s national editorial counsel Michael Cameron has plenty of other ideas on his defamation law reform wish list ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 2, 2015  
The trouble with Australian defamation law - 4

Much of what is wrong with our defamation laws has been addressed in the UK Defamation Act 2013, says Fairfax Media’s in-house lawyer, Richard Coleman ... Two defences need re-drafting ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 2, 2015  
The trouble with Australian defamation law - 3

What’s wrong with Australia’s defamation laws? It starts with the artificiality of the meanings pleaded, according to the ABC’s senior litigation lawyer Grant McAvaney ... Then there’s the offer of amends, the “cap” on damages and the contextual truth defence ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 1, 2015  
Hockey v Fairfax: Who won and who lost?

There has been plenty of comment in the wake of the Hockey defamation judgment – including on the costs decision. But who really won? The author of Defamation Law in Australia, Patrick George, weighs up the outcome ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    September 1, 2015  
Hockey v Fairfax: Who won and who lost?

There has been plenty of comment in the wake of the Hockey defamation judgment – including on the costs decision. But who really won? The author of Defamation Law in Australia, Patrick George, weighs up the outcome ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 31, 2015  
The trouble with Australian defamation law - 2

In the second of GLJ’s series on defamation law reform, Sydney University media law academic and author Dr David Rolph looks at the defences that need “fundamental re-thinking” ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 28, 2015  
The trouble with Australian defamation law - 1

In the first of a series about the problems with Australian defamation law, NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson focuses on the electronic media explosion and the inadequacy of defences ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 25, 2015  
Is New Zealand the libel world's most plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction?

Plaintiffs fortunate enough to bring a claim in New Zealand can be confident they have all the legislative, technical and procedural support they could hope for … Wellington-based defamation lawyer Ali Romanos explains, in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 14, 2015  
"What would you like us to do?"

The chair of the Australian Press Council, Professor David Weisbrot, invites the multicultural press to join an organisation they have been conspicuously absent from … Operation “engagement” begins in earnest at a restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown … Emily Meller reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 12, 2015  
UK media law cases in the 2014-2015 legal year

Seven full trials, five libel appeals and three media privacy injunctions feature in this round-up of UK media law cases over the past year, compiled by Inforrm ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 3, 2015  
New Zealand passes Harmful Digital Communications Act

New Zealand’s new Harmful Digital Communications Act has finally become law … In this Inforrm article, lawyer Tim Sissons summarises its main features and the principles guiding the yet to be established “digital harm” complaints agency ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 21, 2015  
The Sun, the royal family, public interest and freedom of information

The Sun’s use of pictures from the archives of Britain’s royal family showing the Queen and Queen Mother doing Nazi salutes raises timely questions about privacy, freedom of information and the public interest, as this Inforrm article explains ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 14, 2015  
The media law year in review - defamation

Despite the introduction of new uniform defamation laws in 2005, the system is still complicated, unwieldy and in need of reform … Melbourne media lawyer Peter Bartlett reviews the state of play over the past twelve months ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 9, 2015  
Hockey, tweets and defamation law

When Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey was found to have been defamed by a poster and two tweets, many called for law reform … What do they mean and what are the lessons for users of social media, mainstream media included? ... Sydney University law lecturer Dr David Rolph casts his eye over the legal landscape ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 9, 2015  
Justice served or justice hidden?

Former Victorian Supreme Court Justice and current Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, Philip Cummins QC delivered this paper at today’s forum on suppression orders, held at the Melbourne Press Club ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 9, 2015  
The media law year in review - journalism

The practice of journalism continues to be under siege in Australia … In this article, Melbourne media lawyer Peter Bartlett reviews the intersection of law and journalism during the past year ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 8, 2015  
Appeal against worldwide Google blocking injunction refused

Google loses appeal over worldwide blocking order to remove websites from search engine results … Inforrm’s Hugh Tomlinson QC reviews the implications of this significant Canadian decision ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 1, 2015  
Weighing up Hockey

There are bigger issues at stake than the damages awarded to Joe Hockey, says Melbourne lawyer and writer Geoffrey Gibson ... He reviews the “chilling effect” on political speech and the trouble with not having a jury ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 30, 2015  
Hockey v Fairfax: A Pyrrhic victory?

Has Joe Hockey won the battle and lost the war? Sydney media lawyer Graham Hryce looks at the interesting issue of differential costs and why the treasurer might end up out of pocket to the tune of a million dollars ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 29, 2015  
High Court's failure of nerve

The so-called Hore-Lacy defence recently failed to get a hearing in the High Court … A disappointing decision that leaves defamation law in a mess, says Sydney media lawyer Graham Hryce ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 24, 2015  
Question Time - Tim Soutphommasane

Free speech has been top of the political agenda since Attorney General George Brandis proclaimed everyone’s right to be a bigot … What’s the current state of debate and what exactly are our laws protecting? Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane agreed to answer these questions and more ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 23, 2015  
Tim Southphommasane - Part 2
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 22, 2015  
Open justice, anonymity and the protection of reputation

Anonymity order related to unfair dismissal overturned on appeal as UK judge finds for the BBC … Hugh Tomlinson QC reviews the principles of open justice which trump reputational damage in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 17, 2015  
Australia's new online copyright infringement regime

As the government prepares to ratify a new injunctive regime aimed at stopping online copyright infringement, Rocco Rinaldo looks at its likely effect on various stakeholders ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    June 5, 2015  
Data law "has too few safeguards to protect privacy"

UK High Court challenge to laws giving police and security agencies access to people’s phones and internet records … MPs from opposing sides join forces to ensure privacy protections … The Press Association’s Hayden Smith reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 28, 2015  
A landmark privacy damages decision

UK phone hacking victims reap record compensation payouts from Mirror Group Newspapers in a landmark privacy damages judgment … Leading privacy lawyers Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori examine the detail in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 13, 2015  
Privacy law under the Tories

Will the tort of misuse of private information disappear if the Human Rights Act is repealed, as foreshadowed by Britain’s Conservative Party? Leading human rights and privacy barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC investigates in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    May 4, 2015  
Battle of the bulge: Bernstein v Poon

Defamation Canadian style isn’t all that different from the Australian experience … Costly, ego-driven and the subject of some withering comments by the judge … Melbourne barrister Vince Stefano looks at a case involving two diet doctors ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 21, 2015  
Re-evaluating Campbell v MGN Ltd: Great promise unfulfilled

How has the right to privacy promised by Campbell fared in the past ten years? ... Not too well, according to University of Leeds academic Dr Paul Wragg ... His analysis looks at why courts have consistently permitted the public interest to trump the misuse of private information ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 14, 2015  
A torrent of misunderstanding?

Last week’s Federal Court judgment allowing Dallas Buyers Club to find out who illegally downloaded and shared the film was widely misinterpreted, according to Sydney copyright lawyer Eli Fisher ... His analysis examines the vexed issue of damages, along with the copyright holder’s possible true intent ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 7, 2015  
Google's pain, an imperfect decision in an imperfect world

Academics, commentators, students and lawyers, including Google’s senior privacy counsel, gathered at the University of Cambridge recently for a conference on internet regulation after Google Spain ... Athalie Matthews reports the key discussion points in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 31, 2015  
NSW State Legal Conference

Issues arising from social media featured as the centrepiece of a recent NSW State Legal Conference in Sydney … Speakers agree the law is lagging behind … Evie Woodforde reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 19, 2015  
Damages and the uniform Defamation Act

Capping damages under the uniform act has raised more questions than it answered … Is it a cap or a scale? ... In this paper, presented at the recent UNSW defamation and media law seminar, barrister Kieran Smark SC looks at how section 35 has been applied in recent times ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 19, 2015  
Ten years of the Defamation Act

Ten years after the uniform Defamation Act of 2005, how has it fared? ... Barrister Tom Blackburn SC examines its operation and finds it wanting in several key respects … Read his views in this paper, delivered to the recent UNSW seminar on defamation and media law … more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 19, 2015  
UNSW defamation and media law update

The University of NSW recently hosted a seminar on defamation and media law … Leading practitioners discussed significant developments and troublesome trends … The contextual truth defence loomed large, as Evie Woodforde reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 18, 2015  
The defence of contextual truth and Hore Lacy

The defence of contextual truth is under such threat, it may soon be completely ineffective … Barrister Matthew Richardson reviews the cases and illuminates the issues in this paper, delivered at the recent UNSW defamation and media law seminar ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 18, 2015  
Aspects of identification in defamation

How has the objective identification test in defamation cases evolved, what should be reasonably required of witnesses and what of group identification? ... Barrister Richard Potter probes the issues in this paper, presented at the UNSW defamation and media law seminar ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 17, 2015  
Sydney welcomes WIPO

Last week the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) and IP Australia hosted a session in Sydney focused on their latest services and initiatives … Rocco Rinaldo was there ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 14, 2015  
Question Time - David Weisbrot

The Australian Press Council’s new chair, Professor David Weisbrot comes with a solidly reformist background … So what’s his agenda and what does he see as the challenges for media companies, journalists and the council? He agreed to tell the Gazette ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 14, 2015  
David Weisbrot - Part 2
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 14, 2015  
David Weisbrot - Part 3
... more
Seminars, interviews & commentary    March 5, 2015  
Copyright infringement draft industry code

Public responses to a draft code of conduct to curb online copyright infringement will close in less than a month … Rocco Rinaldo examines the Communications Alliance’s proposal and finds it largely uncontroversial, grey areas excepted ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 20, 2015  
Rihanna succeeds in controlling how her image is used

The UK Court of Appeal confirms there is no general right to control one’s image … Nevertheless, celebrity Rihanna manages to, via a passing off claim … Barrister Sara Mansoori explains in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 16, 2015  
Sex with the office lights on

Privacy in the spotlight in New Zealand after camera phone footage of a couple having public sex was filmed and posted on YouTube without their knowledge … Victoria University academic Dr Nicole Moreham looks at the legal implications ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 13, 2015  
Social media, internet threads and defamation in Victoria

Victoria continues to be the second largest defamation jurisdiction in Australia … While the Victorian Supreme Court is seeing more cases involving comments posted on Facebook and internet threads, the numbers are far from significant … James Nunez reports ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 11, 2015  
What price reputation?

The high cost of running a defamation action means often only the well-heeled or the impecunious can afford to sue … For defendants, the costs can be even more prohibitive says Sydney media lawyer Graham Hryce ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    February 6, 2015  
The perils of self-represented litigation

As internet publication swells, so do the numbers of self-represented defamation litigants … NSW District Court Defamation List Judge Judith Gibson says reform is needed … Nina Ubaldi investigates ... more