It’s grim down under: Australia, Murdoch and political control – Granville Williams

15 06 2014

AbbottMurdochA report in the Brisbane Times, 12 June 2014, revealed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin, spent more than 2½ hours at Mr Murdoch’s apartment near Central Park in New York on Tuesday evening, 10 June. Read the rest of this entry »





Does Australia need a statutory right to privacy? – Tom Blackburn SC

6 06 2014

gazetteBarrister 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.

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Does Australia need a statutory right to privacy? – Justin Quill and Peter Bartlett

31 05 2014

gazetteMedia 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

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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 »








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