Freedom Of Speech In Australia | Report

Added on - 25 Sep 2019

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Table of ContentsScenario – 1:................................................................................................................................................2Scenario – 2:................................................................................................................................................3Scenario – 3:................................................................................................................................................5Reference:...................................................................................................................................................71|Page
Scenario – 1:The freedom of speech in Australia is not free as everyone think of it. The Constitution ofAustralia grants freedom of political speech. The freedom of political speech entitles citizen ofcountry to make positive as well as negative comment over political decision. The freedom ofspeech regarding political comment is important pillar of free expression. In this context it isimportant to note that the scope of right of freedom of expression particularly political commentsis not wider as one have thought of it. The person working in the government department hasmore burdens in this context. It is true to say that the right allows free expression of politicalviews and working of government; it must be exercised with due care. Irresponsible commentmay attract legal consequences. The political comment is also subject o defamatory law hencecare must be taken to avoid any legal issue under defamation law.In context of comment by PR office of the government organization, the main medial law issuearises is of defamation, suit for damages for loss of reputation and right of freedom of expressionof political communication under Constitution.The Australian Constitution grants right to make free political comments and restrict legislatureto enact any law limiting this right. The comment made against government can be taken underfreedom to express political communication. The comment posted by person relates with thepolitical affairs. It relates with policies implemented by government. Thus, it can be consideredas political communication notwithstanding anything that comment is in favour or criticizinggovernment policies. This can be considered as comments made in exercise of right to have freepolitical freedom. This can be taken as defence. However there are many court precedents whichmay operate against the right to express free political communication.It is important to note that person working under government department is under obligation tofollow rules and regulation. He must take reasonable care that his efforts do not harmgovernment adversely.2|Page
InLange v Australian Broadcasting Corp, court has considered issue relating to freedom ofpolitical comment in depth. The court held that the right to express political view must be viewedin broader sense. The court pointed out that the right is personal right; constitution does not granta personal right to freedom of political communication that an individual can exercise. Theconstitution; rather provides restriction on legislative action that may curtails freedom of politicalcommunication. It cannot override person obligation that a men is obliged to due under somestatues or code of conduct. The same was then adopted inGaynor v Chief of the Defence Force.This makes it clear that government employees are under obligation to honour their code ofconduct first and they cannot take shelter of freedom of expression to cover their breach of duty.In this it is recommended that the any political communication cannot be made in personalcapacity. The analysis of court decision revels that the right of free expression of politicalcommunication is not personal makes it clear that any political comment having adverse affecton government can be taken as ground to initiate legal action against person making it. However,the language used in the comment must be decent in manner and it should not be defamatory. Itcan be healthy critics of government policies. This may help journalist to publish as muchmaterial as possible.Scenario – 2:Reporting of judicial trail and criminal incidence requires grate care. The news regarding anycriminal incidence and its judicial progress needs to be reported with great care so as to avoidany legal consequences. Care must be taken for online comments of reviewers.In case of reporting of case, relevant media law issues are the extent to which reporting will beconsidered as fair and just and possibility of to be sued for contempt of court. The reporting ofany matter under justice requires due care. The reporting of criminal offence majorly involvesdescription regarding crime and its judicial progress, many times the information published bymedia house may create hurdle in fair judicial process. This may create legal issue for mediahouse. This is because once the judicial process starts the matter becomes sub judicial in nature.In case if publication of any article by publisher had a tendency, as a matter of practical reality,to prejudice the fair trial of accused beyond the reasonable doubt than it may create issueregarding contempt of court.3|Page
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