26 September 2023

Public views sought on media ‘shield laws’

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Public comment has been invited on a proposal to amend the State’s laws to protect whistleblowers and journalists who reveal information or actions in the public interest.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said consultation on what she described as ‘shield laws’ was now under way with the release of an information paper.

“A free, independent and effective media is crucial for a strong democracy,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Journalists need to be protected when doing their jobs and Queenslanders need to be protected if they come forward with important information.”

She said effective shield laws needed to strike the right balance between protecting the media and public, and allowing courts to act in the interests of justice.

“We are delivering on our commitment to consult on introducing shield laws – these are complex laws, and we need to get them right with the strongest safeguards,” Ms Fentiman said.

“As part of this process, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General has been reviewing Queensland case law and examining laws in other jurisdictions.”

She encouraged all stakeholders, “the media, legal profession and the public”, to have their say on the framework for the introduction of shield laws in Queensland.

Consultation closes on 13 July.

The consultation paper is available at this PS News link and feedback can be given through the survey at this link.

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