Professor Spencer Zifcak explains today in The Conversation why the Bernard Collaery case is one of the gravest threats to freedom of expression in this country.
It is a careful analysis of the complex laws at play that could see Bernard Collaery in jail for 2 years for disclosing what was an illegal act by our Government, at least under International law. It’s an important read.
In examining possible defences under the law, Professor Zifcak says:
…. The real problem for Witness K and Collaery is that section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act has no public interest defence, in other words, they can’t argue that disclosing the confidential information was done in the public interest, and hence, not against the law.
We should all be worried. Such laws are notoriously difficult to have repealed.