Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart loses WA Supreme Court case re rights of journalists and sources under that state's shield laws

Gina Rinehart pictured with Tony Abbott in April 2013

The Guardian 7 August 2013:

Gina Rinehart's attempt to force a journalist to reveal his sources was dismissed only on the basis of Western Australia's shield laws. All the other arguments from the newspaper's lawyers were rejected.
Rinehart subpoenaed the Walkley award-winning journalist Steve Pennells and the newspaper company he worked for to hand over all notes, recordings and communication in relation to her company Hancock Prospecting, her son, John Hancock, and the billion-dollar trust which is at the centre of a legal battle between Rinehart and two of her children……
Pennells and West Australian Newspapers (WAN) refused to do so, sparking a legal battle which ended on Tuesday in the first real test of WA's shield laws.
"I have reached the conclusion that if Mr Pennells, or an officer of WAN, were called to give identifying evidence of the same kind as is contained in the documents sought, then on the basis of the information presently available, it is very unlikely that they could be compelled to do so," Pritchard said in her judgment.
"To require the production of documents containing the same identifying information under a subpoena would negate the very protection that the parliament has sought to create ..

* Photograph found at Google Images

No comments: