Media Matters    May 4, 2020

Keeping journalism out of the state’s grasp

Melbourne Press Club webinar … “What are your rights if you are raided?” … How journalists should handle sensitive documents that disclose sources … Consequences for defamation … Danger posed by mobile phones… AFP’s unacceptable delay in Afghan Files investigation … Journalists left in a protracted state of uncertainty … Greater safeguards required for search warrants issued against the media … Stephen Murray reports … more

 

Dossier    May 3, 2020

Costs and Calderbank – cases and contention

News bulletin ... Tamborine school principal's hefty costs following small damages award ... Criticism of plaintiff's conduct ... Wagners' bid for indemnity costs rejected after successful injunction against Alan Jones ... Unusual restraint placed on media defendants ... Whether rejection of a Calderbank offer was unreasonable ... Australian Information Commissioner to serve Facebook in the USA and Ireland ... Breach of privacy in Cambridge Analytica case ... Costs carve-up in sprawling litigation involving The Golden Girls puppet parody ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Privacy    April 30, 2020

Privacy and the COVID tracing app

The new COVID-19 tracker and legal protections ... Biosecurity versus privacy ... Need for a contract between government and users ... Prying by police and security agencies is forbidden ... How it works ... Hacking is inevitable ...?A decentralised model would be less of a threat to privacy ... Social graphing of individual app users ... Workability ... The key issues clarified by Janek Drevikovsky ... more

 

Interlocutory/Case-Management    April 29, 2020

Hooper v Phipps

District Court of NSW ... Contextual truth defence ... Pleading back the imputations relied on by the defendants ... Council email to North Shore Times ... The unintended consequences of Kermode ... Disentitling conduct ... Conditional plea-back ... Any imputations proven at trial available for contextual truth defence ... Janek Drevikovsky reports ... more

 

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 28, 2020

Turmoil over unlawfully acquired evidence

Police riffling through a journalist's drawers ... Illegal warrant, but not illegal enough to stop the AFP keeping the material on the USB stick and using it ... Seizure of property and judicial discretion ... Forget the journalism, the common law all at sea on unlawfully acquired evidence ... Where's Entick v Carrington when you need it? ... Justinian gets to grips with the High Court's twisted knickers ... more

 

Dossier    April 28, 2020

Federal Court case roundup

Querying the national readership of unfavourable Google reviews .... Five day hearing for former MP's action in "anti-Semite" case ... Atlas Advisors and Chinese financial news service settle for $350,000 and an apology ... ABC says meanings pleaded by NSW horse-racing boss do not arise ... David Leyonhjelm given till May 1 to pay $125,000 into court ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Interlocutory/Case-Management    April 23, 2020

Omega Plumbing Pty Ltd v Harbour Radio Pty Ltd

NSW Supreme Court ... Plumbing company sues over Ray Hadley's on-air attacks ... Injurious falsehood ... Plaintiff fails to have subpoenas to Fair Trading and Master Plumbers of NSW set aside ... A low threshold to uphold subpoenas ... Documents have a legitimate forensic purpose and would assist the defendant's case ... "On the cards" ... Consumer complaints against the plumbers ... Contract prices exceeding quotes ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Media Matters    April 23, 2020

News Corp wires-up

NCA NewsWire … From the ashes of AAP comes a News Corp version of the news service … Monopolising the competition … Content for sale to other publishers … Concentrating on crime and courts … Formal offers knocked back as “not acceptable” … Janek Drevikovsky reports … more

 

Imputations    April 21, 2020

Nikolic v Nationwide News

Summary dismissal of a claim against The Australian's?"Cut and Paste" section ... Tolerant and progressive plaintiff held out to be associated with the "No" case for marriage equality "No" ... Online identity theft using Twitter ... Unlikely to be lowered in public estimation since 40 percent of plebiscite voters were opposed to marriage equality ... Moral and social mores ... Inferences upon inferences ... Pleadings against Twitter, Google and Yahoo to be amended ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Seminars, interviews & commentary    April 20, 2020

Ontario’s fresh approach to defamation reform

Law Commission of Ontario's proposals for defamation reform in the internet age ... Recommendation against a serious harm threshold ... Access to justice considerations ... Anti-SLAPP legislation replaces restrictions on the right of corporations to sue ... A fresh approach to remedies ... Takedown and interlocutory takedown orders ... A new definition of "publication" ... Obligations for intermediate platforms ... Professor David Rolph on the scope of an important report ... more

 

Interlocutory/Case-Management    April 19, 2020

Ben Roberts-Smith v Fairfax Media Publications; Ben Roberts-Smith v The Age Company Pty Ltd; Ben Roberts-Smith v Federal Capital Press; Ben Roberts-Smith v Jonathan Pearlman

National security and COVID-19 delay trial ... Dates vacated ... Attorney General gives notice under the National Security Information Act ... Parties seeking agreement on disclosure of information related to national security ... Not possible for the trial to be conducted remotely ... Difficulties with evidence from witnesses in Afghanistan ... Dispute over notices to produce ... Stephen Murray reports ... more

 

Appeals    April 19, 2020

Feldman v Polaris Media Pty Ltd as Trustee of the Polaris Media Trust t/as The Australian Jewish News

NSW Court of Appeal ... Defamation ... Three separate judgments with different reasons for rejecting the appeal ... Justification, contextual truth, honest opinion, statutory qualified privilege and fair report - all in contention ... $100,000 threshold ... Reasonableness ... Where one of the respondents had died pending the appeal outcome ... Stephen Murray reports? ... more