LCA calls for legal reform to protect journalists

The Law Council of Australia has expressed concern that the Australian Federal Police has provided a brief to the Office of Public Prosecutions over the ABC’s ‘Afghan Files’ report.

While details of the brief of evidence are not yet known, the Law Council has reiterated the importance of press freedom and public interest reporting as a cornerstone of Australian democracy.

Law Council of Australia President Pauline Wright said law reform was urgently needed at every step of the process in the formal investigation of journalists suspected of breaching secrecy provisions.

These reforms should include:

  • search warrants must be issued by judges of a superior court of record
  • when considering whether to issue a search warrant, judges should apply a statutory public-interest test
  • creating a public interest advocate or monitor role to contest search warrants relating to journalists.

Read more on the Law Council of Australia website.

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