Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Media and Counter-Terrorism Laws: The View From Australia

Lawrence McNamara, University of Reading School of Law, has published "Australian Counter-Terrorism Laws and Limits on Media Freedom: Working Paper No. 1". Here is the abstract.

This paper is the first working paper in a project that aims to identify and evaluate the actual and potential effects that Australian counter-terrorism laws have on public discussion and access to information. The project explores limits on media freedom and their implications for the nature and quality of public debate on matters of public interest. It does so by analyzing how the laws affect the media's ability to investigate and report on matters of public interest, and exploring how democratic commitments to media freedom might best be balanced against contemporary demands of national security. This paper explains how the research has been conducted; identifies some of the main elements of the legal framework and the way that those elements may and sometimes have affected the media; and offers some tentative conclusions about the ways that the media have been affected some of which are not directly, causally attributable to the suite of counter-terrorism laws but which are important to understanding the contemporary relationship between media freedom and public discussion of matters of public interest where national security is concerned.

Download the entire paper from SSRN here.

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