Media Release

High Court Decision Highlights the Need for Contestable Warrants

By April 16, 2020 No Comments

The High Court has today unanimously decided that the warrant to search News Corp Journalist Annika Smethurst’s home in June 2019 was invalid.

Welcoming the decision, Free TV’s CEO, Bridget Fair said, “Today’s decision confirms the media’s concerns that the AFP overstepped the mark. In a democracy, you should not be able to conduct raids on journalists and media companies without a valid reason.”

Free TV called on the Government to respond to the Right To Know Coalition’s calls for action on better protections for journalists and whistleblowers.

“While it is extremely concerning that the raid happened at all, we hope that this decision will now spur the Federal Government to address the concerns raised by Australia’s Right To Know Coalition of media companies. The High Court’s decision only emphasises the need for a contestable warrant scheme for raids on journalists and media companies.

“It is clear from today’s decision that our current laws do not adequately protect public interest journalism”, Ms Fair said.

Download a copy of the PDF here