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Seminars, interviews & commentary    December 8, 2016   thumbnail
The media law year in review

Big wins and big losses for the media … Social media actions flourish, as do suppression orders in several jurisdictions … Privacy law fails to get out of the stalls … Journalist sources remain in peril … A nuanced, but ultimately stagnant 2016 ... more

Privacy    December 7, 2016  
"JZ" and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Australian Information Commissioner finds insufficient public interest in an FOI request for cabinet documents containing details of a former federal MP’s inappropriate behaviour towards a female public servant in a Hong Kong bar … Justin Pen reports ... more

Interlocutory    December 6, 2016   thumbnail
Defamation watch list

NSW Defamation List Judge Lucy McCallum dispenses with several interlocutory decisions – referring one matter to mediation and directing most pleaded imputations in two other matters to the jury ... more

Trial reports    December 5, 2016  
Graeme Cowper v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Ors; Graeme Cowper v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Two weeks into his massive defamation case against Fairfax and the ABC, former NAB financial adviser Graeme Cowper withdraws … Expensive exercise results in verdict for the defendants and a $200,000 costs bill ... more

Trial reports    December 2, 2016   thumbnail
Graeme Cowper v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Ors; Graeme Cowper v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The plaintiff finally gives evidence, but a key defendant won’t be … Plenty of “happy client” witnesses potentially looming, according to the plaintiff’s counsel, Kieran Smark SC … Naaman Zhou reports … more

Appeals    November 29, 2016  
Lynda Meegan v Times Newspapers Ltd

Recent Court of Appeal judgment from Ireland prevents defamation plaintiff from obtaining a journalist’s notes … Section 26 defence of reasonable publication was not put precisely enough … This case note by Mike Dodd of Media Lawyer ... more

Trial reports    November 28, 2016   thumbnail
Graeme Cowper v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Ors; Graeme Cowper v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Witness near tears as she describes the alleged consequences of a former NAB financial adviser’s advice … Presiding judge Lucy McCallum concerned about slow proceedings and expected delays … Naaman Zhou reports ... more

Damages    November 25, 2016  
Heather Reid v Stan Dukic

ACT Supreme Court Justice John Burns awards $180,000 damages for a series of “irrational or ranting” Facebook posts which defamed a Canberra football executive … The defendant fails to appear at every turn ... more

Trial reports    November 23, 2016   thumbnail
Graeme Cowper v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Ors; Graeme Cowper v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Special counsel for the NAB tells a NSW Supreme Court jury that former financial adviser Graeme Cowper admitted he had “done the wrong thing” in “doctoring” client files … The practices of bank financial advisers under scrutiny in double defamation trial against Fairfax and the ABC ... more

Trial reports    November 21, 2016  
Graeme Cowper v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Ors; Graeme Cowper v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

First day of former NAB financial adviser’s defamation actions against Fairfax Media and the ABC finds him conspicuously absent from the witness box … His counsel plans to call 36 witnesses instead … Special damages evidence to be heard concurrently ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 21, 2016  
Access to information should not be an after-thought

The courts and tribunals of England and Wales are up for a radical, digital overhaul, but has the concept of open justice been properly considered? .... UK media and information law academic Dr Judith Townend examines the details ... more

Damages    November 17, 2016   thumbnail
Malcolm Weatherup v Nationwide News Pty Ltd

Retired Townsville journalist awarded $100,000 damages over allegations he was “habitually intoxicated” and lost his job as a result … QLD Supreme Court Justice David North awards aggravated damages because The Australian persisted in an “unjustifiable” defence ... more

Interlocutory    November 16, 2016  
Graeme Cowper v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd & Ors; Graeme Cowper v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Fairfax and ABC refused leave to amend defence just days before trial … NSW Supreme Court Justice Stephen Rothman also rejects a bid by the defendants to vacate the trial date and one by the plaintiff for disclosure of sources ... more

Interlocutory    November 15, 2016   thumbnail
Edward Kang v Channel Seven Sydney & Ors

“Reluctant gladiator” and migration agent has a third set of defamation proceedings struck out and dismissed for lack of compliance … Failure to serve the statement of claim after nine months is “unacceptable” says NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 11, 2016  
Challenges in media regulation

Acting chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Richard Bean has told a Communications and Media Law Association seminar that despite the rise of online platforms Twitter and Facebook, the effects of digital disruption on media regulation shouldn’t be overstated … Read his paper in full ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 10, 2016   thumbnail
Rolling Stone found to have acted with "actual malice"

The high-profile defamation case involving Rolling Stone magazine throws light on both journalistic practice and US libel law, says New York based Alexia Bedat ... She reviews both in this Inforrm article ... more

Seminars, interviews & commentary    November 9, 2016  
The trouble with 18C and free speech

As the political storm around s18C continues unabated, Sydney University media law academic and author Dr David Rolph looks at the latest judgment and why it is an inadequate measure of free speech in Australia ... more

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