On 15 March 2018, the Evidence (National Uniform Legislation) Amendment (Journalist Privilege) Bill 2017 (Bill No. 37 of 2017) (the "Bill") passed the Northern Territory's Legislative Assembly (the "LA") without amendment and is currently awaiting Assent.
This Bill was initially introduced to NT House of Assembly by the Hon Natasha Fyles on 23 November 2017. At this time, the Bill was referred to the Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee (the "Committee") for inquiry and report in accordance with cl (4)(c) of the Committee’s Terms of Reference. Public Comment and Submissions relating to the Bill closed on 13 March 2018.
As noted in the Explanatory Statement to the Bill (p 1):
A document released in March 2018, titledfrom the Committee, also indicates (at pg 4, Chair’s Preface):
The amendments outlined in the Bill will make changes to the Evidence (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act):
A new section 127A (Journalist privilege) is to be inserted to the Act to provide for protection for journalists and their informants (see amending section 5 of the Bill) to:
The terms informant and journalist are also defined at s 127A(6), (pg 3 of the Bill), while s 160(1) (Postal Articles) of the Act is amended to also extend the time in which the courts will presume a person receives a letter (or other postal article) by post, to reflect the extended postal delivery time-frames that have been adopted by Australia Post.
In aof 15 March 2018, Attorney-General Natasha Fyles commented:
The Attorney-General went on further to say:
Thealso revealed that the Bill is expected to be enacted in the coming months.
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Evidence (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (Act No 33 of 2011) – Available from TimeBase LawOne Service.
Evidence (National Uniform Legislation) Amendment (Journalist Privilege) Bill 2017 (NT) – Bill and explanatory materials available from TimeBase LawOne Service.
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