Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 19, 2008

Bah, humbug! The media law year in review

With 2008 limping to a close, the Gazette asked a loose collection of media law luminaries (and others) what they thought were the most significant/interesting developments of the past year. Not unsurprisingly, privacy was a major concern ... more


Qualified Privilege    December 18, 2008

Jerry Lee Bennette v Ian Cohen

The correct meaning of “interest” in the common law qualified privilege defence was the main subject of discussion during property developer Jerry Lee Bennette’s appeal against a verdict for Greens MP Ian Cohen. Confusion reigns ... more


Privacy    December 16, 2008

Giller v Procopets

Sex tapes privacy case fails to get off the ground. The Victorian Court of Appeal affirms that there is no invasion of privacy tort in Australian law, but, following UK law, awards damages of $40,000 for mental distress in a claim for breach of confidence ... more


Contempt    December 9, 2008

R v Nationwide News Pty Ltd & Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd

The Supreme Court of Victoria dismisses contempt charges brought against the Daily Telegraph and the Courier Mail over their reporting of the “Benbrika terrorists” committal hearing. Suppression orders in Victoria do not apply to publication outside Victoria, says Justice Philip Mandie ... more


Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 4, 2008

Qualified privilege: a question of judicial attitude

Media law academic Dr David Rolph compares the UK’s “responsible journalism” qualified privilege defence with Australia’s “reasonableness” qualified privilege defence. He concludes that the consistent failure of the defence in Australia rests squarely with judicial attitudes to the media ... more


Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 2, 2008

Making “libel tourists” pay

The US Congress is considering its own, stronger version of the “libel terrorism” bill introduced in New York State earlier this year. Michael Cameron reports on what it will mean for writers, publishers and foreign plaintiffs ... more


Damages    December 1, 2008

Mark French v Triple M Melbourne Pty Ltd

Melbourne jury awards Olympic cyclist Mark French, who was accused of being a drug cheat, damages of $350,000 after finding that radio station Triple M’s defence of fair comment is defeated by malice … more


Qualified Privilege    November 27, 2008

Brian O’Hara v Cliff Sims

Gold Coast turf wars result in rare victory for statutory qualified privilege under the new Defamation Act 2005. Queensland Supreme Court Justice Richard Chesterman upholds the defence for a letter the jury decided was not defamatory ... more


Dossier    November 25, 2008

Hold the source

The West Australian appeals order to hand over audiotapes revealing the source of an Alan Bond story … Federal government proposes three key amendments to strengthen journalists’ shield protection laws … Former ad man Geoffrey Cousins settles with Fairfax over “devious hypocrite” allegations … Former Howard government adviser loses defamation action against “paranoid” and “delusional” defendant … Convicted killer Bruce Burrell fails to suppress evidence already in the public domain ... more


Dossier    November 18, 2008

Fax, lies and audiotape

Alan Bond wins access to audiotapes of conversations between a West Australian reporter and his “confidential source” ... Suppression order stays on “prominent sportsman” being sued for alleged sexual assault … Abe Saffron’s “business associate” sues The Age for calling him a mass murderer … ACCC granted special leave in “media safe harbour” case against Channel Seven … Justice Ian Harrison on the right to privacy ... more


Suppression    November 15, 2008

Suppression Orders Review – Full Report

Australia’s Right To Know, a coalition of 12 media organisations, releases its findings after a five month national review of suppression orders – and they’re not pretty. It found most courts don’t keep records of orders and most orders are unnecessary. Media access to court documents is “difficult, if not impossible in some jurisdictions” ... more