WA Breach of Privacy by Newspaper Reporting My Court Case?

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10 January 2015
Hi. Recently I received a traffic infringement and I had to appear at the Magistrates Court. I noticed the local newspaper was in the court room and was taking notes of all the hearings. Only today I have found out they have 'named and shamed' me in the paper. Is this legal? Are they allowed to do this without my consent?

John R

Well-Known Member
14 April 2014
Hi answers,
From the Australian Press Council's Statement of Privacy Principles:
Unless otherwise restricted by law or court order, open court hearings are matters of public record and can be reported by the press. Such reports need to be fair and balanced. They should not identify relatives or friends of people accused or convicted of crime unless the reference to them is necessary for the full, fair and accurate reporting of the crime or subsequent legal proceedings.

  1. Was the journalist "fair and balanced" in their reporting of the hearing and/or Magistrate's decision?
  2. Did the journalist identify any of your relatives, etc.?
If you believe that the answer to one or both of the above questions is no (and you can substantiate this in writing), then you may consider making a complaint to the newspaper's Editor at first instance.
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