find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Journos must protect sources

Journos must protect sources

Journalists should be exempt from revealing their sources in court cases, according to Victorian deputy premier and attorney-general Rob Hulls. Hulls made the call today (13 September) after…

Journalists should be exempt from revealing their sources in court cases, according to Victorian deputy premier and attorney-general Rob Hulls.

Hulls made the call today (13 September) after meeting with New Zealand media representatives on a visit there last week, saying he believes Australia should adopt the same model as New Zealand in relation to journalists' privilege.

In New Zealand, the default position before the courts is that a journalist should be allowed to protect their sources. However, the court must still be satisfied that it is in the public interest for the source be protected.

Hulls said he plans to urge the Commonwealth and other states to adopt a national approach.

"Given the spread of electronic media and websites, the best approach to this issue would be for national consistency," he said.

"Our Government is committed to openness and accountability and understands the important role the media fulfils as the fourth estate in informing the public and scrutinising power."

Hulls acknowledged that in order to gather some information, journalists are required to guarantee the confidentiality of sources and therefore it should be protected.

"Under the New Zealand model, journalists are given a presumption that they cannot be compelled to reveal confidential sources. However, a court may override this presumption if it considers the public interest outweighs any likely adverse effect of the disclosure on the source," he said.

"This is a difficult issue but, having discussed this with New Zealand media representatives and seen its operation over there, I believe the best position is to start with a presumption against compelling the disclosure of sources."

According to Hulls, federal attorney-general Robert McClelland has already given a public commitment to revisit the issue.

"A strong democracy is an essential component of a free society and I believe a national approach to adopt this model strikes the right balance between the public's right to know and a journalist's commitment to protecting their sources," Hulls said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Journos must protect sources
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...