National security and freedom of the press

Date & time
5.30–6.30pm Wednesday 3 July 2019

Fellows Rd Law Theatre 1

Fellows Road
Canberra ACT 2600


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Presented by Centre for International & Public Law

Panel discussion
CIPL panel discussion

On 4 June the Australian Federal Police executed a search warrant at the home of Annika Smethurst, a News Corp Journalist, in connection with stories published in April 2018 on possible new powers for one of Australia’s intelligence agencies, the Australian Signals Directorate. The next day, a search warrant was also executed in the Sydney office of the ABC, relating to a series of stories published in 2017 on the conduct of Australia's elite special forces in Afghanistan. These actions have raised a range of issues over the freedom of the press in Australia, but they also concern the protection of whistleblowers, the breadth of offences relating to disclosure of classified and national security information, public scrutiny of intelligence and defence agency investigations and processes, the context of the actions in light of recent legislative developments and the issue and breadth of the search warrants involved. This panel discussion will provide an opportunity to explore the legal framework surrounding these issues, their history and ongoing impact, and the possibilities of reform.


  • Daniel Stewart »

    Daniel Stewart is a senior lecturer at the ANU Law School and member of the Centre for International and Public Law. His teaching and research interests cover many aspects of information law, including protection of whistleblowers, confidentiality and access to government information. He is also the Independent Reporting Mechanism reporter for Australia’s involvement in the Open Government Partnership.

  • Associate Professor David Letts »

    Associate Professor David Letts is the Director of the Centre for Military and Security Law at ANU College of Law. Prior to arriving at ANU he served for more than three decades in the Royal Australian Navy and has held senior appointments in Navy and Defence. David’s academic teaching and research interests centre on the application of the law to all aspects of military legal practice.

  • Dominique Dalla-Pozza »

    Dominique Dalla-Pozza is a senior lecturer at the ANU College of Law working in the field of Australian Public Law. Her primary research deals with the Australian Parliament and the legislative process, especially the process by which Australian National Security Law is made. She is particularly interested in the work done by parliamentary committees. In her role as a co-convenor of the ACT chapter of the Electoral Regulation Research Network (ERRN) Dom has also worked on the Senate voting system.

  • Professor Mark Nolan »

    Professor Mark Nolan is an interdisciplinary legal scholar with doctoral training in social psychology. He researches criminal law and procedure including codified Australian federal criminal law (such as counter-terrorism law and human trafficking) and military discipline law. He has also researched citizenship law, human rights law, intergroup relations, social justice theory, and sentencing law (via work with the National Judicial College of Australia).

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