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Australia's Right to Know

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Australia's Right to Know is a coalition launched by the major Australian media companies and public broadcasters in May 2007. In its initial statement representatives of the media outlets stated that "our freedom to express an opinion, honestly and openly, is under threat." [1]

Auditing Free Speech in Australia

At its launch the coalition signalled that it would commission an "independent study of threats to free speech and expression in this country" which would address issues including:

  • "the effectiveness of freedom of information laws – given that freedom of information is at risk of becoming an oxymoron
  • the principles of open justice and the public’s right to know how courts operate
  • the tendency by courts to restrict public access using broad suppression orders
  • the level of transparency in criminal and family law cases
  • the risks that journalists and whistleblowers face jail even though they are acting in the public interest
  • the impact of new sedition laws on freedom of expression in media reporting and the performing arts
  • the risk that Australians can be detained without charge and reporting of such occurrences is illegal
  • whether defamation laws achieve the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to protect the reputation of individuals (even allowing for recent welcome reforms that created much greater uniformity across the country); and
  • the need for suppression, contempt and other state based restrictions to be reformed and made uniform across the country." [2]

It was subsequently announced that Irene Moss, the former commissioner of New South Wales government's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), would oversee the audit. [3]

Founding Members

Other SourceWatch Resources

References

  1. "Joint Statement - Australia's Right to Know", accessed May 2007.
  2. "Joint Statement - Australia's Right to Know", accessed May 2007.
  3. "Former ICAC boss to audit free speech", The Age, May 24, 2007.

External links

Coalition Statement

General Articles