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Evidence (Jounalists) Amendment Bill 2018 | Shield laws

Status: new laws commenced

The Bill gives journalists legal protections when they refuse to disclose information or material that may identify their sources. These protections promote accountability and transparency in government, and contain safeguards to prevent the laws from being exploited - eg disclosing information to a journalist for self-gain. In these cases, a public interest test will determine if the journalist must name their source.

Elements considered by the court will include whether public interest in disclosing the informant's identity outweighs:

  • any likely adverse effects of disclosing someone's identity 
  • public interest related the news or media communicating the information 
  • the need of the news media to access information held by potential informants.