ACMA and 2Day FM High Court Battle – SCA slams the decision

Staff Writer

The High Court has found in favour of the media watchdog ACMA, saying it does have the power to rule if a criminal offence has been committed. 

Back in August 2014 ACMA secured approval to appeal the case against 2Day in the High court.  SCA thought it might have gone away, back in March last year, when the Federal court upheld 2Day FM’s argument that the ACMA did not have the authority to rule on whether they had broken the law by broadcasting a prank call to the Duchess of Cambridge in December 2012.

During that process, the entire commercial broadcasting industry, including FreeTV Australia and Commercial Radio Australia, both stepped in to assist and support in the new High Court battle against ACMA. 

In Southern Cross Austereo’s Media Release (below), the group has slammed the decision saying:

"Today’s decision by the High Court of Australia, which reverses the unanimous decision of the Full Federal Court concerning the power of the ACMA to judge the criminal guilt of broadcasters, means that there is a serious defect in Australian broadcasting law.

It is wrong for the broadcast regulator to be able to itself decide whether a commercial television or radio broadcaster is guilty of performing an offence against any Australian, State, Territory or Commonwealth law, including laws where ACMA has no expertise, experience or jurisdiction

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