2Day lawyers in Federal Court over prank call

Staff Writer

Southern Cross Austereo lawyers were in Federal Court today with the goal to get the ACMA to be permanently stopped from finding 2Day FM committed a criminal offence over the Royal Prank call from late last year.

In June, 2Day FM applied to the Federal Court to restrain the ACMA from continuing to investigate the incident. The move came immediately after the watchdog gave the station their preliminary findings. More.

Today, Bruce McClintock, SC, who is representing SCA, said:

"This case, the prank call to the hospital in London, is a matter of notoriety" and added that if the ACMA was allowed to find 2Day FM committed a criminal offence, it would attract widespread publicity.

"The courts are the place and the only place where determinations of criminal guilt can be made," McClintock said.

"The ACMA must wait until my client is dealt with – if it ever is dealt with – in the courts system."

Given that charges may never be laid, it would be "very puzzling" to think the ACMA could make its own criminal finding, Mr McClintock added.

Neil Williams SC, the lawyer for the ACMA, told the court:

“There is no basis for saying this is the final report and that it will remain unchanged.

"This case is far from where the ACMA is solely determining guilt.

“We are simply at the finding stage and there is no case that we are fulfilling a judicial function.”

Read more in The Australian here.

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