Treading a fine line: Balancing privacy and public interest in law reform – Barbara McDonald

6 04 2014

gazetteThe 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. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Brendan Ritson v Gary Burns, A$7500 damages for “a single comment made to one person” – Yvonne Kux

3 04 2014

gazetteIn the case of Ritson v Burns ([2014] NSWSC 272), a former policeman who was called a criminal by gay rights activist was awarded damages of A$7500 for publication to one person.  In her judgment, NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum made it clear that the action “warrants some explanation”.

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Australia swims against the tide of democratic media reform – Benedetta Brevini

27 03 2014

Malcolm TurnbullThat media ownership rules have been progressively relaxed in many democracies is certainly not news. But that Australia, with one of the most concentrated media markets in the world, is thinking of further deregulation is astonishing.

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Case Law, Australia: Bob Ell v Katie Milne, Billionaire gets $15,000 damages over defamatory email – Yvonne Kux

22 03 2014

gazetteBillionaire property developer awarded damages of $15,000 for defamation by Greens councillor, neither of whom appeared at trial … Verdict based on documents and submissions. Read the rest of this entry »





Cyber News Down Under: The Antipodean Troll, a different kind of species? – Tom Double

13 03 2014

Charlotte DawsonWhat a tragedy it is that it requires another suicide to regenerate widespread interest in cyberbullying, the phenomenon that has become the scourge of the internet age. Charlotte Dawson, the New Zealand–Australian television personality, recently took her own life following a lengthy battle against anonymous Twitter trolls, which has precipitated calls for tougher anti-cyberbullying legislation in Australia  (see and sign here).  Read the rest of this entry »





Teacher defamation highlights social media’s legal perils – David Rolph

10 03 2014

Social MediaLast November, a young man was ordered by a NSW court to pay A$105,000 in damages for defaming a teacher at his former school on Twitter. The decision, which only came to light earlier this week, should serve as a reminder to all users of the legal risks involved in using social media. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Australia: Mickle v Farley, $105,000 awarded for defamatory tweets and Facebook posts – Patrick George

7 03 2014

gazetteA former NSW schoolboy who posted abusive and defamatory statements on Twitter and Facebook about a teacher at his school ordered to pay $105,000 damages … NSW District Court Judge Michael Elkaim found “the effect of the publication on the plaintiff was devastating” … Patrick George reports. Read the rest of this entry »





Anonymity and defamation – Dr David Rolph

22 02 2014

gazetteHow 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. Read the rest of this entry »





Privacy and the Internet – David Rolph

8 02 2014

gazetteA 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 Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: Whither media reform under Abbott? – Mark Pearson

25 11 2013

Where will the new Liberal-National Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott head with the reform of media regulation? Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis were vocal opponents of the former Gillard Government’s proposals to merge press self-regulation with broadcast co-regulation into a new framework.

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