A journalist employed by Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd applied for access to and copies of a number of the tendered documents during the course of a defamation trial. Such an order was said to be necessary for the purpose of the journalist writing further newspapers articles (in the public interest) on the perils of online publications in the context of the law of defamation.
Three questions emerged for determination:
(a) Does the District Court have an express power to make orders allowing inspection and copies of exhibits in civil proceedings?
(b) If there is no express power, is it necessary to imply a power to make orders allowing inspection and copies of exhibits in civil proceedings in the circumstances of this case?
(c) If a power exists, should the court exercise its discretion to make the orders sought?
Rob Anderson QC (with H Blattman) appeared for the plaintiff/respondent, instructed by Bennett & Philp.
The judgment is available here.