Labor’s Mark Dreyfus QC takes stand on #freespeech: Abbott and Brandis honour Voltaire only in the breach

[clear] The Coalition will never waver in its defence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. — Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) March 13, 2013 Oh the terrible irony for George Brandis QC in fronting the latest Abbott Government attacks on free speech through its terror legislation. Brandis was one of several moderates in the Howard Government who stood firm behind liberal principles to oppose its draconian anti-terror legislation in 2002. As editor of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Webdiary I documented the true Liberal dissenters fightback in great detail; indeed it was their dissent which enabled the Labor Party to risk adding its voice to the debate. And in my […]

Reporters may still face litigation and court orders to identify sources, despite Rinehart’s failed bid in WA

By Miles Heffernan August 10, 2013 Gina Rinehart’s bid to have a journalist turn over secret sources was rejected this week by a Western Australian Supreme Court judge in a decision hailed as a win for press freedom. But the judgment handed down on August 6 makes it clear we are still a way short of a proper legislative safeguard for source protection. And luck also played a part, since the so-called shield law that saved the day did not come into effect until after the action had started. The judgment by Justice Janine Pritchard came after Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting sought senior West Australian journalist Steve Pennells’ source records, after […]