Tim Cushing reports:
Last year, the Australian government decided journalists just weren’t feeling chilly enough. In response to the publication of leaked documents detailing the government’s plan to allow more domestic surveillance, the Australian Federal Police started raiding journalists’ homes.
They started with News Corp. journalist Annika Smethurst’s home. Hours later, police raided broadcaster Ben Fordham’s home. A third raid was broadcast live, as the AFP swarmed ABC’s offices seeking documents that might reveal who leaked sensitive documents to journalists.
So Smethurst went to court, and the judges agreed with her that the warrant was invalid. But then they did not do what you would expect them to do — they did not order the seized materials returned to her. As Americans, we have often heard how the remedy for an illegal search or seizure is suppression of the evidence. Why Australian judges would permit law enforcement to keep the fruits of an illegal search is … concerning. If any Australian lawyers would like to jump in and help explain this or justify this, please let in touch with me.
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