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Suppression    August 20, 2017   thumbnail
Open justice v suppression orders: Tales from the front line

Suppression orders continue to pose a real problem for the media … How do they work and why are they so freely granted? ... News Corp Australia in-house counsel Larina Mullins reports on a recent case from the front line and reviews the current state of play in our courts ... more

Dossier    August 18, 2017  
In Liu of sources

Chinese-Australian businesswoman’s sources disclosure battle with The Age ends with a whimper … Fairfax fails to have Jamaican cricketer’s actions dismissed over security for costs tardiness … Website operated by blogger jailed for contempt still up and defaming … Australian government finally announces an inquiry into contempt … NSW union official accused of bribery settles with the ABC and Fairfax … Nationwide News settles two actions brought over Daily Telegraph stories ... more

Media Matters    August 11, 2017   thumbnail
Can journalists really promise anonymity to their sources?

Investigative journalists rely heavily on their ability to attract and retain the trust of their sources … But can they really promise them anonymity? ... Media lawyers Richard Leder, Sanjay Schrapel and Chelsea Ives look at the law, and the reality … more

Contempt    August 10, 2017  
Jane Doe 1 & 2 v Shane Dowling

A blogger who has flagrantly and persistently flouted suppression and take down orders in relation to the alleged affairs of Seven CEO Tim Worner with two Seven employees is sent to jail for contempt … NSW Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison finds he breached the orders “enthusiastically” and continues to do so ... more

Dossier    August 8, 2017   thumbnail
Costly matters

Costs mount in three very different defamation cases, two involving criminal barristers… Rebel Wilson settles with another Wilson …Two big name actions still afoot … New proceedings from a NSW police officer, a mayor, a sports marketer, two vets and an estranged wife ... more

Trial reports    August 7, 2017  
Rebel Wilson v Bauer Media Pty Ltd and Anor

All-female jury of six finds eight articles published by Bauer Media defamatory of Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson … Truth, qualified privilege and triviality defences all fail … Malice found in relation to Australian Women’s Weekly online article … Sanjay Schrapel reviews the case in this comprehensive trial report ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    August 3, 2017   thumbnail
Searching for defamation law reform

Who should bear liability for the publication of defamatory material via a search engine? UNSW media law academic Dr Daniel Joyce reviews the case law in Australia in light of UK law and an up-coming High Court consideration of the issues … There is an urgent need for clarity, and for statutory reform ... more

Media Matters    August 2, 2017  
Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers

UK High Court strikes out claim brought by London woman against the Daily Mail ... Judge Patrick Moloney QC finds attempts by journalists to contact her for a story did not amount to harassment – it was a matter of public interest … Media Lawyer’s Mike Dodd reports ... more

Dossier    July 31, 2017   thumbnail
Pell mell

Reporting George Pell’s first appearance on “historical sexual offence charges” ... First Muslim in NSW parliament withdraws action against The Australian ... Former commando settles with Fairfax … “Legendary” fund manager sues Australian Financial Review ... Alleged “firebug” sues Illawarra Mercury ... Fairfax faces action from sexual assault victim and mediates with Footy Show presenter ... more

Damages    July 28, 2017  
Lili Chel v Fairfax Media & Vanda Carson (No 7)

Seven years after a Sun Herald story, a former Kings Cross nightclub owner gets $100,000 damages … It was a “baseless” allegation and a “serious” defamation to say she didn’t prevent drink spiking and allowed “on stage sex” at The Rouge, says NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Beech-Jones ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    July 23, 2017   thumbnail
Questions of contempt

The Victorian Court of Appeal’s decision not to refer three federal ministers for prosecution of contempt raises unanswered questions about freedom of speech and the constitution … Sydney University Professor of Law and author Dr David Rolph asks whether the implied freedom of political communication applies to criticism of the judiciary ... more

Suppression    July 19, 2017  
Tariq Khuja v Times Newspapers Lt and Ors (formerly known as PNM v Times Newspapers Limited and Ors

Long-running battle for anonymity brought by a man who was investigated over child sex abuse claims ends in a victory for the media and the public interest … Media Lawyer’s Mike Dodd reports on a recent and significant decision of the UK Supreme Court … more

Costs    July 17, 2017   thumbnail
Seven Network (Operations) Limited & Anor v Amber Harrison

NSW Supreme Justice John Sackar comes down hard on Amber Harrison over proceedings “engulfed in a vitriolic atmosphere”... The former lover of Seven boss Tim Worner is found to have breached her deed of release in multiple ways and is ordered to pay Seven’s costs on an indemnity basis ... more

Damages    July 15, 2017  
Gabriella Piscioneri v Toni Whitaker

Judgment entered for a solicitor plaintiff results in modest damages of $7500 over two comments posted on an opinion website which were read by (possibly) two people … Damages are mitigated by a previous award for the same website ... more

Interlocutory    July 14, 2017   thumbnail
Christopher Murphy v Nationwide News & Annette Sharp (No 2)

Fallout from the bitter dispute between “celebrity accountant” Anthony Bell and his estranged wife continues in the Federal Court … Bell’s lawyer succeeds in maintaining all his pleaded imputations for a Sunday Telegraph opinion piece and in striking out the defence of contextual truth ... more

Trial reports    July 12, 2017  
Rabbi Yosef Feldman v Polaris Media Pty Ltd (t/as The Australian Jewish News)

The point at which defamation law, criminal law and Jewish law meet features in the trial of an orthodox rabbi’s proceedings against The Australian Jewish News ... The first of Rabbi Yosef Feldman’s many defamation actions kicks off in the NSW Supreme Court ... more

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