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Vol 22 No 4 April/May 2017

Book of the Month

Cover of Whistleblowing: Law and Practice

Whistleblowing: Law and Practice

Price: £175.00

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National Security and the D-Notice System

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Pauline SadlerCurtin University of Technology, Western Australia

ISBN13: 9780754621706
ISBN: 0754621707
Published: April 2003
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

The D-Notice system is a voluntary arrangement between the government and the media whereby the media agree not to publish or broadcast certain information in the interests of national security. It represents voluntary censorship on the part of the media. The alternative to the D-Notice system is legal action by the government to suppress allegedly sensitive material, for example, by use of the civil action of breach of confidence, or to punish the media after publication by use of the criminal law.;This book identifies a major deficiency in both the D-Notice system and the legal alternatives to the system. It maintains that the public interest, that is, the interests of the general public, is insufficiently represented in the operation of the former and is often not sufficiently recognized by the judiciary in the latter. The result, the author argues, is that material may be suppressed which has no connection with national security, but which instead exposes the government to embarrassment.;The book offers a comprehensive history and comparison of the D-Notice system in the UK and Australia. It analyzes issues pertaining to the relationship between free speech and the system and discusses the ""public interest"" in relation to the involvement of the government and the media. The author also explores the means by which the governments in both countries suppress information in the interests of national security.

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The right to freedom of speech; history of the D-Notice system in the UK to 1945; history post-1945 and current operation of the D-Notice system in the UK; history and operation of the D-Notice system in Australia; the use of the criminal law in relation to the disclosure of sensitive information; injunctions to restrain a breach of the criminal law - UK and Australia; the use of the civil actions of breach of confidence and copyright; ""national security"" and ""the state""; free speech and national security; the government, media and judiciary.