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In Australia, there is a creeping erosion of human rights and freedoms.
A steady procession of national security and other laws threaten our basic rights and there is an urgent need for greater scrutiny of legislation passed by Parliament.
Law Council of Australia President, Arthur Moses SC, and defamation law specialist, Dr Matt Collins AM QC, will address the National Press Club about these threats, sharing their insights and concerns.
Mr Moses SC will discuss the vital role of the National Press Gallery and its duty to scrutinise all legislation that impinges civil liberties. He will consider key national security laws which pose a threat to press freedom and personal liberties, reinforcing the pivotal role the press plays in upholding our democracy.
Dr Collins AM QC will address the ways in which Australia’s current defamation laws fail plaintiffs, publishers and the community; critique the current process for reform of those laws; and propose some solutions that would both better protect plaintiffs and reduce the chilling effect of defamation laws on investigative and public interest journalism.
Arthur Moses SC
Arthur Moses SC, President of the Law Council of Australia, has practised at the NSW Bar for more than 25 years and, in 2008, was appointed Senior Counsel in the state of NSW. He is the immediate past President of the NSW Bar Association and has been a Director of Law Council since July 2014.
A fierce defender and vocal advocate of the rule of law, access to justice and civil liberties, Mr Moses SC practises in a wide range of areas including administrative law, coronial inquests, corruption inquiries, proceeds of crime litigation, military law, work health and safety prosecutions, employment and industrial law, discrimination, restraints of trade, commercial, equity and appeals in all jurisdictions.
Mr Moses SC regularly appears before the Supreme Court of NSW, the NSW Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia as well as appellate Courts in other states and territories.
Dr Matt Collins AM QC
Dr Collins AM QC, is President of the Victorian Bar and one world’s foremost defamation and media law experts. He represented actor Rebel Wilson in her landmark defamation case against Bauer Media and is currently acting for the journalists and media organisations facing contempt charges as a result of the George Pell trial, as well and the ABC and its journalists involved in the Afghan Files media raid.
Dr Collins AM QC holds a PhD in law from Melbourne University and is the author of Collins on Defamation (Oxford University Press, 2014) and all three editions of The Law of Defamation and the Internet (Oxford University Press, 2001, 2005, 2010), the standard international text on the application of principles of defamation law to online publications.