Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Evidence Act 1995, and for related purposes
Administered by: Attorney-General's
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 20 Mar 2009
Introduced HR 19 Mar 2009

2008‑2009

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Bill 2009

 

No.      , 2009

 

(Attorney‑General)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to amend the Evidence Act 1995, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 1

3............ Schedule(s).......................................................................................... 1

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                 3

Evidence Act 1995                                                                                                       3

 


A Bill for an Act to amend the Evidence Act 1995, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Act 2009.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

3  Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.


 

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Evidence Act 1995

1  Before section 126A

Insert:

126AA  Object of Division

                   The object of this Division is to achieve a balance between:

                     (a)  the public interest in the administration of justice; and

                     (b)  the public interest in the media communicating facts and opinion to the public and, for that purpose, having access to sources of facts.

2  Paragraph 126B(3)(a)

After “protected confider”, insert “or confidant”.

3  Subsection 126B(4)

Omit “is to”, substitute “must”.

4  Paragraph 126B(4)(e)

After “protected confider”, insert “or confidant”.

5  After paragraph 126B(4)(h)

Insert:

                    ; (i)  whether the evidence is evidence of a communication made, or the contents of a document prepared, in the furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence or the commission of an act that renders a person liable to a civil penalty;

                      (j)  any risk of prejudice to national security (within the meaning of section 8 of the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004).

6  Subsection 126B(4)

Omit “The court must also take into account, and give the greatest weight to, any risk of prejudice to national security (within the meaning of section 8 of the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004).”.

7  After subsection 126B(4)

Insert:

          (4A)  For the purposes of paragraph (4)(i), if the commission of the fraud, offence or act is a fact in issue and there are reasonable grounds for finding that:

                     (a)  the fraud, offence or act was committed; and

                     (b)  a communication was made or document prepared in furtherance of the commission of the fraud, offence or act;

the court may find that the communication was so made or document so prepared.

8  Section 126D

Repeal the section.

9  After section 131A

Insert:

131B  Extended application of Division 1A etc. to all proceedings for Commonwealth offences

                   In addition to its application under section 4 to all proceedings in a federal court or an ACT court, Division 1A and section 131A apply to all proceedings in any other Australian court for an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, including proceedings that:

                     (a)  relate to bail; or

                     (b)  are interlocutory proceedings or proceedings of a similar kind; or

                     (c)  are heard in chambers; or

                     (d)  relate to sentencing.