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The Media And Criminal Law Matters

The Media And Criminal Law Matters

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The Media And Criminal Law Matters

16 June 2020

Do you have to go to Court?
Are you worried about your case being in the media?

The media are often present in court, and may be interested in your court matter.  It is possible your matter will be reported in the newspaper, on news programs or on social media.  The media are obliged to report in a manner that is accurate and fair to you and journalists must comply with certain regulations when reporting your matter to the media.

The prospect of having your matter reported by the media can be confronting.  We have answered some common questions about media below.

Can a reporter name me in their report?

Yes.  Reporters are able to publish your name, the offence you have been charged with and the details of the offence.

There are exemptions if you have been charged with certain offences, particularly where naming you would also identify a victim involved in the offending.  You should seek legal advice if you believe an exemption should apply in your circumstances.

Can reporters film me or take photos inside of the court?

No.  It is prohibited for anyone to film or take photographs inside a court room in Queensland.  Media do not have an exemption, and are unable to film you or photograph you within the court room or court house.

However, reporters and media may wait outside of the courthouse.  The reporters may take photographs or videos of you entering and/or leaving the courthouse.

Are statements I make in court allowed to be published?

Yes.  Reporters in the court room are able to publish statements you make in Court.  The reporters are also able to report statements made on your behalf (for example, by your solicitor).

There are some exemptions, and you should seek legal advice if there is a particular statement you do not wish to be reported.

Can a reporter post on social media during my court appearance?

Yes.  Reporters are able to report to social media during an appearance.  This includes “live tweeting” a Trial.  The report must be accurate and fairly presented, and the reporter must use their devices in a manner that does not disrupt proceedings.

Can a reporter use a device to audio-record my matter?

Media are able to privately audio-record your matter.  The audio-recording is generally used to ensure the subsequent report is accurate and factual.  The audio-recording cannot be broadcast or published.

For more information relating to media reporting, or if you have been charged with a crime, please contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or through our online contact form below.