Off the Record
Shield Laws for Journalists' Confidential Sources
© Commonwealth of Australia 1994
ISBN 0 642 22120 0
N.B. All files are in PDF format. To view or print the
report, you will require the Acrobat PDF reader®, which can be downloaded
free of charge from Adobe.
View the report as a single document - (PDF
format) - 20 082 KB
View the report as separate downloadable parts:
TABLE OF CONTENTS - (PDF format)
Chapter 1: The Reference - (PDF format)
Terms of reference
Priority for shield Laws
Conduct of the First Stage of the Inquiry
Chapter 2: the Issue - (PDF format)
Why is this Committee examining sheild laws?
Journalistic ethics and the administration of justice
Do journalists fabricate sources?
Who isa journalist?
In what circumstances do courts order disclosure?
Chapter 3: Journalist v The Court - (PDF
The Barras Case
The Budd Case
The Hellaby Case
The Nichols Case
The Cornwall Case
The Legal Principles
The Newspaper Rule
Chapter 4: The Fourth Estate - (PDF format)
The Constitutional Basis
The Role of the Media
Investigative Journalism and Confidential Sources
Chapter 5: Confidential Relationships Compared - (PDF
What is the nature of the relationship between journalist and source?
Legal Professional Privilege
Priest and Penitent
Doctor and Patient
Other Professional Relationships
A Privelege for Journalists Distinguished
Do journalists have a special claim?
Chapter 6: Balancing Competing Public Interests - (PDF
What is public interest?
Which public interest?
Who determines the balance?
Significance of information
Chapter 7: The Options - (PDF format)
The Options for Australia
The do nothing option
Privelige qualified by structured discretion
Veracity of Information
Dangers of lists
In Camera Proceedings
Chapter 8: Contemt - (PDF format)
A Separate Court
Other Possible Sanctions
Chapter 9: Improving Accountability - (PDF
Journalism and the Professions
Self-regulation: Accountability through complaints mechanisms
Proposals for Regulation of the media
What happens in other jurisdictions?
What conclusions can be drawn from other jurisdictions
Appendix 1: Written Submissions released for Publication - (PDF
Appendix2: Witnesses who appeared at Public Hearings - (PDF