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The latest issue of the Journal of Judicial Administration (Volume 29 Part 2) contains the following material:
“Say My Name, Say My Name”: Changing the Title “Magistrate” to “Judge” in Australia – Marilyn Bromberg and Michael Montalto
Is the title “magistrate” appropriate for Australian magistrates, or would another title be more appropriate? This article argues that the title “magistrate” should be changed to “judge” in Australia in the jurisdictions where such a change has not already taken place. The most convincing reason why the authors argue for this change concerns their findings from the online survey distributed in 2018 to all Australian magistrates: 60% of all Australian magistrates responded to this first of its kind survey; 95.25% of the magistrate respondents wanted a change to their title; and 86.44% of the magistrate respondents did not think that the title “magistrate” accurately reflected their position. This article also provides other relevant arguments for changing the title “magistrate”, including that such a change has already taken place in some Australian and overseas jurisdictions, as well as that magistrates undertake the same work as judges.
Recently, the Australian Federal Police conducted raids at the home and office of two journalists. The validity of such action is currently before the courts. It is argued here that it is possible that the High Court might find that action that effectively forces a journalist to reveal their sources breaches the implied freedom of political communication. Journalists play a pivotal role in permitting the public to hold governments accountable in our democratic system of government. Laws that effectively force them to betray their confidential sources may well limit the supply of information to journalists, in turn curbing the flow of information to voters. Courts in other jurisdictions have found that raids on journalists’ homes and offices infringe freedom of expression in a way that cannot be justified in a democracy.
For the PDF version of the table of contents, click here: JJA Vol 29 No 2 Contents.
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