Shield laws

We will lead an open and transparent Government

What we’ll do

A Marshall Liberal Government will ensure open and honest public debate by enacting ‘Shield Laws’ to give effective protection to journalists and their sources.

They will require a source to be identified in court only if the public interest in revealing such information outweighs the potential detriment to the source – an important transparency measure.

Our Shield Laws will not limit protections to only those in professional media. They will be opened to all contractors or freelancers working to promote debate in the public interest.

Why we’re doing it

To maintain a healthy open society, we need a free media.

Journalists work to hold governments and corporations to account by publishing information that is in the public interest. Often, sources of such information risk their livelihoods by assisting journalists.

In South Australia, our journalists don’t have sufficient protection against being compelled to reveal a confidential source in court. This discourages people from sharing information which is in the public interest.

Independent reviews confirm our laws protecting journalists and their sources are not strong enough, but the Weatherill Government has failed to act.

The public and journalists are being left behind in South Australia without consistent protection to both journalists and their sources.

That’s why we will continue to advance the interests of transparency, openness and informed debate through Shield Laws and other initiatives.