I don’t have time to say much at this stage on the TPM submissions, made to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in the context of its current review. I’m reading through them, in the hope of producing a kind of concentrated summary as I did for the fair dealing review. I suspect there are many more yet to come onto the website. I’ve already commented on the CAL submission, of course.

However, I commend to interested people the ABC submission. In its discussion, the ABC makes it clear just why some exceptions are necessary, if we are to have an effective free media. The submission highlights the practicalities that sometimes intrude and that academics like me sometimes forget. In particular, the submission makes the explicit argument that:

Australian law must comply with the implied right to governmental and political discussion. Any law which protects TPMs but which does not permit an exception to allow free government and political discussion will not be appropriate and adapted to its purpose and will be unconstitutional.

This implied constitutional right plays a critical role in the media and is fundamental to the ABC meeting its charter.’

Interesting reading.