ACMA and 2Day FM High Court Battle

Staff Writer

As the survey results hit the market yesterday, the High Court challenge against 2Day FM heated up in the High Court.

Back in August ACMA secured approval to appeal the case against 2Day in the High court.  Just when SCA thought it might have gone away back in March,  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 back in December 2012.

But things took an interesting turn yesterday.

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis stepped into the fray to support ACMA. He also had the support of his Attorney-General counterparts from the Queensland, South Australian and Western Australian State Governments.

ACMA’s case is being represented by the Commonwealth’s Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson SC.


The Australian has been following the case and reported today:

It is not obliged to simply do nothing unless or until a criminal court has found an offence,” Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson said.

“The primary purpose is not to emblazon across the world that (2Day FM) in the opinion of an administrative body has contravened the Surveillance Devices Act. The primary purpose is to see is there, at least in ACMA’s eyes, a breach of condition and, if there is a breach of condition, what needs to be done.”

“We don’t have any (judicial powers), nevertheless (2Day FM) has sought to prove that we do.”

From the 2Dday FM side, they are arguing that ACMA as a regulator cannot make a finding of criminal conduct before the matter had gone before the courts.  To that end, both Commercial Radio Australia and Free TV Australia have made submissions to the High Court Case to help defend the earlier Federal Court decision in 2Day’s favour.

Why are two levels of Government in the picture? They are concerned about the impact the case may have on other regulators at both a Federal and State level.

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