Menu
News

Attorney General consulted before reporter prosecution

Attorney-General George Brandis
Attorney-General George Brandis AAP Image - Tracey Nearmy

ATTORNEY-GENERAL George Brandis has moved to ensure a minister will have to approve prosecutions against reporters for revealing intelligence operations.

The move, Senator Brandis said, was to dispute what he claimed was a "false story" that journalists could face 10-year jail terms for reporting details of "special intelligence operations".

Legislation including the controversial provisions was passed by parliament last week, with Labor's support.

But after Opposition leader Bill Shorten on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Tony Abbott for a belated "review" of the laws, Sen Brandis announced the change.

However, asked later about the change of heart, Mr Shorten said he raised the issue after "louder concerns" were made public.

Mr Shorten's concerns came only days after media figure Lachlan Murdoch publicly criticised the laws.

Sen Brandis said the move meant that he or future Attorney-Generals would be politically and personally responsible for any future prosecutions.

However, he said that such prosecutions were "barely imaginable", and that the measures in the government's first national security bill was "not about journalists".

Sen Brandis said while such prosecutions could still be brought by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the new measure was a "very powerful safeguard".

The changes were made under the CDPP Act. They require the Attorney-General to be consulted and no prosecution can go ahead without permission.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  attorney general politics



'Scary': Second car torched in South Gladstone street

BURNT OUT: Sharon Lord's car was destroyed in a suspected arson attack on Oaka St in Gladstone, the second in a week.

An Oaka St woman has no idea why her car was seemingly targeted.

'The ball is in Barnaby's court': Ken O'Dowd

COLLEAGUES: Barnaby Joyce (right) and Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd in 2016.

The Flynn MP came just short of calling for the Deputy PM to resign.

Agnes surfers' taste of swell today short-lived

Amelia McKay enjoying a surf at Agnes Water.

The swell finally arrived, but it won't be here for long.

Local Partners