[pl_blockquote pull=”right” cite=”Nick McKenzie, Fairfax Media, 2014 Press Freedom Australia Address”]“There is one hell of a fight going on in Australia to preserve our free press. We are increasingly seeing the rich and powerful resort to litigation to pursue journalists’ sources or lodge defamation writs purely to stop the publication of stories and scare off the rest of the media.”[/pl_blockquote] Justice Open and Shut, a workshop for journalists, lawyers, academics and anyone with an interest in open justice, the media and freedom of the press.

Defamation writs and pursuit of journalists’ sources are not the only threat to press freedom in Australia. The increasing use of suppression orders undermines fair and accurate reporting of the courts and the fundamental principle of open justice.

See below for more details about the speakers. Note: Full program will be available shortly on RoLIA and the ACIJ’s websites.­

WHEN: Wednesday 4th June, 10am – 4.30pm.
VENUE: UTS Maryann House, Level 3, 645 Harris St Ultimo
FEE: $50 – Concessional rates available on enquiry to Jan McClelland jan.mcclelland@uts.edu.au

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Speakers include the Hon Philip Cummins, Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Chairman of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, Peter Bartlett, a leading media and communications law expert, Miiko Kumar, a barrister at Jack Shand Chambers and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, Judith Townend from the UK’s Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, Elissa Hunt, court and legal affairs reporter for the Herald-Sun, Tom Morton, Director of the Centre for Independent Journalism, and more speakers to come.

Media Enquiries:
Tom Morton tom.morton@uts.edu.au
Kate Burns kate@ruleoflaw.org.au

 Presented by Rule of Law Institute Australia, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism & Cosmopolitan Civil Societies (UTS).

Keynote address: “Open Courts: Who Guards the Guardians?”

The Honourable Philip Cummins, former Supreme Court judge, Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, Chair of the Victoria Law Foundation and Chair of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry.

Featured speakers will include:

Peter Bartlett, one of Australia’s leading media and communications law experts, representing clients including Fairfax in major defamation and breach of confidentiality court actions, and in applications to oppose suppression and non-publication orders in court proceedings.  Chair of the Advisory Board at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at Melbourne University and author of the law precise for the MEAA publication “State of Press Freedom in Australia” in 2013 and 2014. Partner at Minter Ellison.

Miiko Kumar, Barrister, Jack Shand Chambers and Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. Kumar appears regularly in applications for suppression orders on behalf of government agencies.  She will provide an overview of the law relating to different forms of suppression orders as well as recent cases involving Gina Rinehart and her attempted use of suppression orders in relation to court proceedings.

Judith Townend, Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, City University, London.  Townend will speak on “Translucent justice? Digital and physical access to UK courts”.

Elissa Hunt, has been a court and legal affairs reporter with the Herald-Sun in Victoria for more than 13 years.  Her work has been recognized through numerous awards from the Victorian Law Foundation, including the 2014 Law Foundation’s Reporter of the year on Legal Issues. Elissa has recently been appointed as the Digital News Editor.

Tom Morton (ACIJ, UTS): The case of Patient A: Open justice, investigative journalism, and forensic patients.

This event is an initiative of…