Free press backwater: how to change the defamation laws that stifle Australian journalism – Richard Ackland

5 01 2019

Geoffrey Rush would have zero chance of securing a successful libel verdict if he sued in the United States over the “inappropriate behaviour” story. The same would apply to the cricketer Chris Gayle and the actor Craig McLachlan. Read the rest of this entry »

Your right to know: how Australia’s defamation law stifles public-interest journalism – Richard Ackland

2 01 2019

Charles Blondin (aka Jean François Gravelet) was a tightrope acrobat who reached peak fame when he successfully walked on a rope strung across Niagara gorge in 1859. The nerve-wracking trip was 340 metres long and the rope was set 49 metres above the waters below. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Mail vs The Guardian: why did editor Paul Dacre lose his rag? – Steven Barnett

24 06 2017
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“Words have consequences. They lead to actions.” So wrote Peter Oborne, the maverick right-leaning Daily Mail columnist about the shocking events in north London recently when a white van deliberately ran into a crowd of Muslims outside a mosque, killing one and injuring several others. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: R (Evans) v HM Attorney-General, The Tale of the Black Spider, the Supreme Court Speaks – Matthew Flinn

29 03 2015

14786526_page_3_let_346471cAnd so, the long legal saga of the Black Spider Letters finally comes to a close.  I last blogged about this case back in October 2012. At that time, the Attorney General had ignited controversy by invoking a little-known power under section 53 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Read the rest of this entry »

Regulation, apology and correction: the failures of the Guardian and the PCC

25 01 2014

Sir Christopher GeidtLast November, the Guardian published in full, on page 10 of the print edition, a PCC adjudication that it had breached clause 1 of the Editor’s Code in three articles about the role of Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt. Read the rest of this entry »

Journalists in the Dock: A new low for British justice, accountability and democracy – Justin Schlosberg

5 12 2013

Rusbridger Home AffairsThis week, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, asked the editor of the Guardian newspaper, Alan Rusbridger, whether he loves this country. This question was significant not just because of the immediate context in which it was posed (the Guardian’s revelations of mass surveillance by security services). It was significant because it revealed just how deeply the discourse of the right-wing media can seep into the consciousness of politicians. Read the rest of this entry »

Briefing Note on Exemplary Damages and Costs – Gill Phillips

22 03 2013

Leveson ReportA lot has been written in recent days about the proposed new clauses to go into the Crime and Courts Bill, which is due to be debated in the Lords on Monday, on exemplary damages and costs. The content and import of these clauses are very worrying and pose some serious threats to free speech. Read the rest of this entry »