ACMA can now act as police, judge and jury: CRA's Joan Warner | radioinfo

ACMA can now act as police, judge and jury: CRA's Joan Warner

Wednesday 04 March, 2015

Commercial Radio Australia is concerned about the High Court ruling against the unanimous decision of the Federal Court in the 2Day FM case. The industry body says the decision has ramifications for the entire broadcast industry.

The High Court decision means that the ACMA "can express an opinion that a radio or television broadcaster is guilty or innocent of an offence before any investigation, possible charges and/or legal proceedings or outcome have occurred," according to CRA.

CRA chief executive Joan Warner said: “The High Court decision delivered today is concerning for all broadcasters, not just radio.  It means that the ACMA can now act as police, judge and jury.

“The industry will be studying the ruling and determining what this now means for all broadcasters across the country, and whether any legislative change may be required.”

Today’s High Court decision relates to audio played by Today FM in December 2012.  Following the incident the ACMA prepared a report before any police investigation had been finalised.

Last week, both the NSW and Federal police investigations concluded that the Today FM recording did not breach any State or Federal law.

In March 2014, Today FM won its appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court to suppress the report and in November 2014 the ACMA was given leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia against the ruling. 

SCA has strongly condemned the court decision, while the ACMA has welcomed the ruling.

Seeing that the decision also has wider implications beyond the radio industry, Free TV has also spoken out, calling on the Government to "immediately amend the relevant provisions in the BSA to address the implications of today’s findings for the wider industry."


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