Last week (14 September 2017), the Senate passed the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017 (the Bill) with amendments, which will now be considered by the House of Representatives. The Bill was introduced in June and amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) ("the BSA"). Presented with the Commercial Broadcasting (Tax) Bill 2017, the Bill is part of a number of comprehensive reforms, announced by the Government on 6 May 2017. The aim of this package of reforms is the improvement of the sustainability of Australia’s free-to-air broadcasting sector.
As we have previously stated, there has been a rise of defamation cases involving social media, especially in regards to use of Facebook and Twitter. However, a recent High Court Appeal case regarding social media use also brings up another issue - that of protected political speech.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs are holding an inquiry into ‘the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia’. The inquiry was referred by Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion. The Committee is currently taking submissions on the terms of reference, asking for responses by Friday 6 October 2017.
Yesterday (9 August 2017) the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, announced that the government had accepted all the recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) made in the Committee's advisory report of 30 June 2017 on the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (Cth) (the Bill).
Rogue jurors are an increasing problem to the legal system in Australia and abroad, which still in general adheres to the view that ". . . a jury trial based on the judgment of ones peers" is the best way to dispense justice. The key problem however, remains, as it probably has always been, keeping jurors in a position where their judgment will be balanced and fair and not influenced by extraneous and tainting factors, like the Internet and Social Media.
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