Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to amend the Evidence Act 1995, and for related purposes
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Registered 30 Sep 2010
Introduced Senate 29 Sep 2010

 

2010

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Bill 2010

 

No.      , 2010

 

(Senator Brandis)

 

 

 

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).......................................................................................... 2

Schedule 1—Amendment of the 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 2010.

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                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.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 1Amendment of the Evidence Act 1995

1  Subsection 126A(1)

Insert:

informant means a person who gives information to a journalist in the normal course of the journalist’s work in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium.

journalist means a person who in the normal course of that person’s work may be given information by an informant in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium.

news medium means a medium for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observations on news.

2  Subsection 126A(1) (definition of protected confidence)

Omit “a journalist”, substitute “another person”.

3  Subsection 126A(1) (note to the definition of protected confidence)

Repeal the note.

4  Section 126D

Repeal the section, substitute:

126D  Protection of journalists’ sources

             (1)  If a journalist has promised an informant not to disclose the informant’s identity, neither the journalist nor his or her employer is compellable in a civil or criminal proceeding to answer any question or produce any document that would disclose the identity of the informant or enable that identity to be ascertained.

             (2)  The court may order that subsection (1) is not to apply if it is satisfied by a party to the civil or criminal proceeding that, having regard to the issues to be determined in that proceeding, the public interest in the disclosure of the identity of the informant outweighs:

                     (a)  any likely adverse effect of the disclosure on the informant or any other person; and

                     (b)  the public interest in the communication of facts and opinion to the public by the news media and, accordingly, also in the ability of the news media to access sources of facts.

             (3)  An order under subsection (2) is subject to such terms and conditions (if any) as the court thinks fit.

5  After section 131A

Insert:

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

                   In addition to their 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.