This is the seventeenth instalment in a regular series from Inforrm highlighting press and case reports of new media and information cases from around the world. It is intended to complement our United States: Monthly Round Up posts. Please let us know if there are other cases and jurisdictions which we should be covering.
In the media
The Australian High Court has found that The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian were liable as publishers of readers’ Facebook comments about former Northern Territory youth detainee Dylan Voller because they facilitated the comments by setting up and posting on public Facebook pages.
The Australian Senate Environment and Communications References Committee on 6 September 2021 conducted another hearing as part of its enquiry into media diversity. The Canberra report can be found here. Sky News reports on the hearing.
A government bill has been introduced that creates three new types of warrants empowering the Australian police to spy on suspects of cybercrime, the Guardian reports.
Sky News Australia has denied broadcasting Covid misinformation following its suspension from YouTube. Lachlan Murdoch has been asked to appear at a parliamentary inquiry into YouTube’s suspension of Sky News Australia.
The Federal election in Canada has been held with the results not yet being announced, CBC reports. CTV News reports that the election ballots could take up to five days to count.
Jimmy Lai’s Hong Kong media group Next Digital has filed for liquidation the Guardian reports. Authorities warned that allowing Jimmy Lai’s to vote in the liquidation could pose a national security risk and Hong Kong’s High Court has ruled that the governments restriction of his right to vote complies with national security laws, a move reported by the South China Morning Post.
Sing Tao, the oldest Chinese language newspaper in Hong Kong, has been forced to register its US arm as a foreign agent following filings with the Department of Justice.
The Pakistan media regulation bill is going before Parliament prompting protests from thousands of journalists. “The proposed law is draconian in scope and devastating in its impact on the constitutional principles,” Shahzada Zulfiqar, the president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), told DW. The Daily Pakistan has a piece exploring why the Pakistan Media Development Authority, the entity which is being established by the bill, is so controversial. A committee has been formed by the Pakistan Government to review the bill.
Voting the Russian election has begun with Apple and Google removing an opposition app from stores.
Russian Media Outlets and NGO’s have launched a petition demanding cancellation of the laws which label them as foreign agents.
In the Courts
Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd v Voller; Nationwide News Pty Limited v Voller; Australian News Channel Pty Ltd v Voller  HCA 27 – as already mentioned, a case in which the majority of the High Court held that newspapers were liable for comments posted on their Facebook pages.
Kuksal v Nine Network  VSCA 248– a case concerning an appeal from a finding that there was no arguable case for breach of confidence.
Gough v Squillacioti  NSWDC 411– a defamation case where the plaintiff was successful and awarded $25,000 damages and aggravated damages of $5,000.
Egan v Santamaria  NSWDC 418– a successful defamation case where the defendant failed to file a defence. Judgement entered for the plaintiff in the sum of $268,506.85.#
This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.