The Australian’s legal affairs editor, Chris Merritt, has today reported on IPA-commissioned legal advice:
FORMER High Court judge Ian Callinan has produced a damning legal opinion that says aspects of the media regulation plan drawn up by former communications minister Stephen Conroy “are very arguably unlikely to be valid under the Constitution”.
The opinion, written jointly with Sydney barrister Caspar Conde, says the broad powers proposed for a statutory regulator of all news media would be likely to have generated a successful constitutional challenge.
Mr Callinan and Mr Conde were commissioned to prepare the opinion by the Institute of Public Affairs, which called yesterday for the federal government to provide a clear guarantee that it would not seek to reintroduce an amended version of the Conroy plan if it won the federal election.
“The government remains committed to these proposals; this scheme was only shelved because it did not have enough support to guarantee passage of the legislation through the parliament,” said Simon Breheny, director of the IPA’s legal rights project.
To read the full opinion, click here.