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High Court judgments

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Cite as: May 2011 85(5) LIJ, p.58

Constitutional law

Judicial power – orders of state court to suppress identity of person charged with offences against children – whether orders impinge on the integrity or independence of courts

In Hogan v Hinch [2011] HCA 4 (10 March 2011) the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 (Vic) provided for “eligible offenders” who had been convicted of sexual offences to be subject to supervisions orders. By s42, the Act made it an offence to disclose the identity of the subject of an order. H, a journalist, was charged with identifying a person who was subject to an order. His challenges that s42 was unconstitutional for undermining the integrity of the courts, contrary to the requirement that judicial proceedings be in public and impinged on the implied freedom of expression and communication were removed into the High Court. The challenges were rejected by the High Court: French CJ; Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel and Bell JJ jointly sim. Consideration of how legislation is to be interpreted as required by the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).

THOMAS HURLEY is a Victorian barrister, ph 9225 7034, email The full version of these judgments can be found at


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