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Report No. 93

7.7. Opinions invited.-

The important issues relevant to the subject of this privilege were set out in the Working Paper which, after stating the alternatives, wound up the discussion as under:

"The broad question is-in what circumstances, if any, should journalists be given the right to refuse to disclose in court and other judicial proceedings the source of their information? As elaborated above, so many points of detail arise out of this question. Briefly, these are as under:

1. Who should be included in the term "journalist" for the purpose of privilege?1

2. What media should come within the scope of the privilege?2

3. (a) In order that the source be privileged, should the information be published, or should it be privileged even if the matter was never printed, broadcast or telecast?

(b) Should the privilege relate only to the identity of the person who supplied the information, or should it extend to the information upon which published matter is based?3

4. Should the privilege apply to all court proceedings, civil or criminal, and if not, to which proceedings should it be confined?4

5. Should the privilege, if allowed, be absolute or should the courts (or other appropriate bodies) have a discretion to uphold or reject claims of privilege?5

6. If a privilege were to be enacted, who should be competent to waive it:6

1. See para. 7.1, supra, for the detailed queries on this point.

2. For detailed queries, see para. 7.2, supra.

3. For detailed queries, see para. 7.3, supra.

4. For detailed queries, see para. 7.4, supra.

5. For detailed queries, see para. 7.5, supra.

6. For detailed queries, see para. 7.6, supra.

Disclosure of Sources of Information by Mass Media Back

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