Courts sets date in 2DayFM vs ACMA case

2day fm sydneyThe Federal Court has set down September 19 as the date for its hearing of the court case involving Sydney radio station 2DayFM and the media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

In a directions hearing this morning the Court agreed that the case, which sees 2DayFM asking the court to stop the media authority from continuing its investigation into last year’s “royal prank call” incident, would be one centring on the legal question around whether the ACMA has jurisdiction to make a final ruling after it last month issued preliminary findings which were critical of the incident.

A negative ruling could have serious repurcussions for 2DayFM which if it is found to have breached its licence through an illegal act such as recording phone calls without consent could see the licence suspended or revoked.

Justice Richard Edmonds asked the two sides: “It’s pretty much the one legal argument (over jurisdiction)?” To which barristers for 2DayFM and the ACMA agreed. 

Media law experts last week told Mumbrella’s sister publication Encore that the case would likely be a landmark case.

Professor Mark Pearson, an academic specialising in media law at Griffith University, said: “The investigation is in the public interest, and the fact ACMA is proceeding with this matter shows it has the intent to act in the public interest and the station, by taking these proceedings, will show what the limits of that are.”

Justice Edmonds also declined to release affidavits in the case, after noting there were many media outlets who has requested them, following an objection from 2DayFM.

Nic Christensen 


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