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May 14, 2021

Media freedom laws welcomed by Law Council   

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A law advocacy group has welcomed key recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in its review of press freedom.

Law Council of Australia president, Pauline Wright, said the committee found major reforms are needed to Commonwealth investigatory powers, secrecy offences and public interest disclosure laws to ensure public interest journalism is adequately protected under Australian law.

She says, ‘The Law Council strongly supports the Committee’s key recommendations for special procedures for the issuing of warrants to investigate journalists’.

Warrants

‘The Committee has recommended that superior court judges should be responsible for issuing all such warrants, and that independent public interest advocates should be appointed to contest all of these warrant applications. It also recommended public interest advocates must be retired judges or senior counsel, and that there be a review of all Commonwealth secrecy offences.

‘These recommendations offer a much stronger foundation for the Australian media’.

For more information, visit Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.


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