The West

Journalists in Western Australia are now legally protected from being compelled to reveal their sources, unless it’s in the public interest, after so-called shield laws passed through state parliament.

WA Attorney General Michael Mischin said the Evidence and Public Interest Disclosure Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 fulfilled the state government’s election commitment to introduce protections for journalists in respect of their informants.

“A journalist who has promised not to reveal their source’s identity will not be able to be compelled to do so, unless the public interest clearly requires it,” Mr Mischin said.

“Journalists will now be able to work in the knowledge that they are legally protected from having to disclose the identity of their sources.”

The bill also protects other professionals who receive confidential information.

“This bill recognises the ethical obligation professionals owe their clients to preserve confidentiality and balances that against their legal obligation to give evidence when required to do so by a court or tribunal,” Mr Mischin said.

“Further, the bill serves the public interest of preserving appropriate confidentiality while recognising that journalists play a vital role in ensuring the free flow of facts and information to the public.”

The legislation also introduces enhanced protections for public servants who disclose illegal conduct or the mismanagement of public resources.

The West Australian

Latest News From The West

Police raided a notorious chain of smoke shops across Perth yesterday as it revealed officers seized more than 4500 packages of synthetic substances from the outlets last financial year.

A lucky Australian man has won his own remote Pacific island resort in a raffle, after shelling out just US$49 for the winning ticket to claim the paradise property.

Miami (AFP) - Donald Trump sensationally challenged Russia on Wednesday to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails as a furious Democratic campaign accused the Republican nominee of inviting foreign spies …

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West