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“Don’t marry him”: Bride-to-be shares wild altercation with her future in-laws over her wedding dress

<p dir="ltr">A woman has been told to “run” from her fiancé after sharing a wild conversation she had with her future in-laws about her wedding dress. </p> <p dir="ltr">The bride-to-be shared that ever since she was a child, she wanted to wear her mother’s wedding dress on her own big day. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, the woman was then confronted by her soon-to-be in-laws, with drama ensuing over her wedding dress.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole?” page, the woman explained, "My mother's wedding dress has been passed down for generations and I remember being a little girl dreaming of walking down the aisle in it."</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite her wishes to wear the family heirloom on her big day, she said things went south at a dinner at her sister-in-law’s (SIL) house when she  "tapped her spoon against the glass and said that she had to make a toast."</p> <p dir="ltr">"She then said she would be right back before going into another room and returning with a large plastic bag," the bride continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Everyone seemed to be excited but I just felt confused."</p> <p dir="ltr">As she "awkwardly smiled", her SIL opened the bag to reveal her wedding dress from her wedding two years earlier as her in-laws began clapping, as her future sister-in-law announced she wanted the bride to wear her dress at her upcoming nuptials.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I tried to smile but I guess I didn't do a good job of hiding my disappointment and everyone began asking me what was wrong," the bride-to-be continues, adding that she tried to explain that she wanted to wear her mother's wedding dress.</p> <p dir="ltr">At this point, her SIL began to cry and her in-laws began berating her, causing the bride to burst into tears and run outside.</p> <p dir="ltr">"My fiancé didn't even come after me and after crying my eyes out on the steps for what felt like hours, he finally came outside and yelled at me to get into the car," she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">Confused, she got into the car only for her fiancé to berate her for making "such a big scene" leaving him feeling "embarrassed in front of his family."</p> <p dir="ltr">"He sounds so mad and he even said he couldn't believe he chose to marry such a 'bitchy c--t' (his exact words)."</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman tried to explain how important it was to her to wear her mother's dress and that she had already promised her mother she would be wearing it on her big day.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I felt like my fiancé's family planned this and put me on the spot thinking I wouldn't stand up for myself and just agree to wear SIL's dress," she continues.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I don't think I did anything wrong but a part of me thinks I should have just gone along with it and then told SIL in private that I wouldn't be wearing the dress."</p> <p dir="ltr">Hundreds of people were quick to comment on her post, suggesting that she “run” not only from her in-laws, but from her partner as well. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Ma'am you need to leave that whole family behind including your fiancé," one said. "You just had a peek into your future if you carry on with this relationship."</p> <p dir="ltr">"Don't you dare marry that man!!!" another said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The problem doesn't exist as the wedding shouldn't be happening anymore," another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">One Redditor suggested she "be thankful that he is showing you who he really is before you marry him."</p> <p dir="ltr">"You have just had a glimpse of what your future is going to look like if you go through with your wedding."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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"A bit weird": David Koch's new career move

<p>Former Sunrise co-host David Koch has revealed a new career move a year after resigning from the breakfast TV show. </p> <p>On Thursday, Koch was announced as the new chair of the South Australian Tourism Commission, the peak body promoting tourism to SA. </p> <p>Koch is replacing Andrew Bullock, who has been the chair of the commission since 2019. </p> <p>“A passionate South Australian and media professional, Kochie is a leading advocate for small business and a high-profile finance commentator,” the SATC said in a statement. </p> <p>Koch, who was born in Adelaide but has been living in Sydney, said he won't be moving back to SA for the role. </p> <p>Some South Australians questioned his high-profile appointment, as they believe that a local should've been chosen for the job. </p> <p>"It's a little bit weird that he doesn't live in SA - that he's not living here but being the head of it," one said.</p> <p>"It would be nice to have someone embedded in SA, living in SA, part of the community in SA as well," another added. </p> <p>However, Premier Peter Malinauskas has defended the decision,  citing Koch's national profile and financial expertise as a valuable aspect in advertising  smaller businesses in the tourism sector.</p> <p>"We as a state have punched above our weight in regards to tourism and hospitality but there is a lot more growth to be had," Malinauskas said.</p> <p>As the chair, Koch will work alongside the SATC board to  “set the strategic agenda for the commission”.</p> <p>He will hold the role for three years from July 2. </p> <p>“We do the best food and wine in the nation, and we have some of the nation’s most spectacular regions,”  he said after his new role was announced. </p> <p>“We also retain a reputation for delivering first class major events and festivals.</p> <p>“More recently, the perceptions of Adelaide and South Australia have shifted significantly on the east coast – and we have an opportunity to capitalise on this momentum to grow our tourism sector even further.”</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Image: Nine</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Worried your address, birth date or health data is being sold? You should be – and the law isn’t protecting you

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katharine-kemp-402096">Katharine Kemp</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Australians don’t know and can’t control how data brokers are spreading their personal information. This is the core finding of a newly <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Digital-platform-services-inquiry-March-2024-interim-report.pdf">released report</a> from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).</p> <p>Consumers wanting to rent a property, get an insurance quote or shop online are not given real choices about whether their personal data is shared for other purposes. This exposes Australians to scams, fraud, manipulation and discrimination.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/consumers-lack-visibility-and-choice-over-data-collection-practices">many don’t even know</a> what kind of data has been collected about them and shared or sold by data firms and other third parties.</p> <p>Our privacy laws are due for reform. But Australia’s privacy commissioner <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653">should also enforce</a> an existing rule: with very limited exceptions, businesses must not collect information about you from third parties.</p> <h2>What are data brokers?</h2> <p><a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/CPRC-Singled-Out-Final-Feb-2024.pdf">Data brokers</a> generally make their profits by collecting information about individuals from various sources and sharing this personal data with their many business clients. This can include detailed profiles of a person’s family, health, finances and movements.</p> <p>Data brokers often have no connection with the individual – you may not even recognise the name of a firm that holds vast amounts of information on you. Some of these data brokers are large multinational companies with billions of dollars in revenue.</p> <p>Consumer and privacy advocates provided the ACCC with evidence of highly concerning data broker practices. <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Salinger%20Privacy.pdf">One woman</a> tried to find out how data brokers had got hold of her information after receiving targeted medical advertising.</p> <p>Although she never discovered how they obtained her data, she found out it included her name, date of birth and contact details. It also included inferences about her, such as her retiree status, having no children, not having “high affluence” and being likely to donate to a charity.</p> <p>ACCC found another data broker was reportedly creating lists of individuals who may be experiencing vulnerability. The categories included:</p> <ul> <li>children, teenage girls and teenage boys</li> <li>“financially unsavvy” people</li> <li>elderly people living alone</li> <li>new migrants</li> <li>religious minorities</li> <li>unemployed people</li> <li>people in financial distress</li> <li>new migrants</li> <li>people experiencing pain or who have visited certain medical facilities.</li> </ul> <p>These are all potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited, for example, by scammers or unscrupulous advertisers.</p> <h2>How do they get this information?</h2> <p>The ACCC notes <a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/CPRC-working-paper-Not-a-fair-trade-March-2025.pdf">74% of Australians are uncomfortable</a> with their personal information being shared or sold.</p> <p>Nonetheless, data brokers sell and share Australian consumers’ personal information every day. Businesses we deal with – for example, when we buy a car or search for natural remedies on an online marketplace – both buy data about us from data brokers and provide them with more.</p> <p>The ACCC acknowledges consumers haven’t been given a choice about this.</p> <p>Attempting to read every privacy term is near impossible. The ACCC referred to a recent study which found it would take consumers <a href="https://www.mi-3.com.au/06-11-2023/aussies-face-10-hour-privacy-policy-marathon-finds-study">over 46 hours a month</a> to read every privacy policy they encounter.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=131&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/595623/original/file-20240522-23-2zkuc.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=165&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The approximate length and time it would take to read an average privacy policy in Australia per month.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/publications/serial-publications/digital-platform-services-inquiry-2020-25-reports/digital-platform-services-inquiry-interim-report-march-2024">ACCC Digital Platform Services Inquiry interim report</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Even if you could read every term, you still wouldn’t get a clear picture. Businesses use <a href="https://cprc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/CPRC-Singled-Out-Final-Feb-2024.pdf">vague wording</a> and data descriptions which <a href="https://theconversation.com/70-of-australians-dont-feel-in-control-of-their-data-as-companies-hide-behind-meaningless-privacy-terms-224072">confuse consumers</a> and have no fixed meaning. These include “pseudonymised information”, “hashed email addresses”, “aggregated information” and “advertising ID”.</p> <p>Privacy terms are also presented on a “take it or leave it” basis, even for transactions like applying for a rental property or buying insurance.</p> <p>The ACCC pointed out 41% of Australians feel they have been <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/consumers-and-data/data-collection-and-use/how-your-data-is-used/articles/choice-renttech-report-release">pressured to use “rent tech” platforms</a>. These platforms collect an increasing range of information with questionable connection to renting.</p> <h2>A first for Australian consumers</h2> <p>This is the first time an Australian regulator has made an in-depth report on the consumer data practices of data brokers, which are generally hidden from consumers. It comes <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/data-brokers-call-transparency-accountability-report-federal-trade-commission-may-2014/140527databrokerreport.pdf">ten years after</a> the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conducted a similar inquiry into data brokers in the US.</p> <p>The ACCC report examined the data practices of nine data brokers and other “data firms” operating in Australia. (It added the term “data firms” because some companies sharing data about people argue that they are not data brokers.)</p> <p>A big difference between the Australian and the US reports is that the FTC is both the consumer watchdog and the <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2312913">privacy regulator</a>. As our competition and consumer watchdog, the ACCC is meant to focus on competition and consumer issues.</p> <p>We also need our privacy regulator, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), to pay attention to these findings.</p> <h2>There’s a law against that</h2> <p>The ACCC report shows many examples of businesses collecting personal information about us from third parties. For example, you may be a customer of a business that only has your name and email address. But that business can purchase “<a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4224653">data enrichment</a>” services from a data broker to find out your age range, income range and family situation.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/C2004A03712/latest/text">current Privacy Act</a> includes <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/australian-privacy-principles/read-the-australian-privacy-principles">a principle</a> that organisations must collect personal information only from the individual (you) unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. “Impracticable” means practically impossible. This is the direct collection rule.</p> <p>Yet there is no reported case of the privacy commissioner enforcing the direct collection rule against a data broker or its business customers. Nor has the OAIC issued any specific guidance in this respect. It should do both.</p> <h2>Time to update our privacy laws</h2> <p>Our privacy law was drafted in 1988, long before this complex web of digital data practices emerged. Privacy laws in places such as California and the European Union provide much stronger protections.</p> <p>The government has <a href="https://ministers.ag.gov.au/media-centre/speeches/privacy-design-awards-2024-02-05-2024">announced</a> it plans to introduce a privacy law reform bill this August.</p> <p>The ACCC report reinforces the need for vital amendments, including a direct right of action for individuals and a rule requiring dealings in personal information to be “fair and reasonable”.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230540/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katharine-kemp-402096">Katharine Kemp</a>, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law &amp; Justice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/worried-your-address-birth-date-or-health-data-is-being-sold-you-should-be-and-the-law-isnt-protecting-you-230540">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Legal

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Grieving dad fights for "ZaZa's Law" after toddler dies in his arms

<p>A grieving father has called for change after his toddler tragically died from choking on a grape. </p> <p>Brian Bwoga, a 44-year-old dad from Perth was at the beach with his two sons, Alessandro, four, and Zaire (ZaZa) 22 months, at the beginning of the year on what seemed like a normal family day out. </p> <p>But what was meant to be an idyllic summer’s day soon turned into any parent’s worst nightmare.</p> <p>“The weather was amazing, the boys were playing and it was just the perfect summer’s day,” Brian, who parents his boys with their mother Claudia, 39, told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/perth-toddler-dies-five-minutes-after-being-eating-popular-snack/news-story/0bfb598fe70bb5b47259cdc3b80c60cd" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a>.</p> <p>“I was gathering up our things ready to go home. My older son Alex came up to me and asked if he could play for just five more minutes. I was carrying ZaZa, and I told them both to go and play together with their friends while I finish packing the car."</p> <p>“The next minute ZaZa is just running to me, holding his neck and gasping for air."</p> <p>“I jumped into action and did CPR, I put my fingers inside his throat and got one grape out. I was so relieved, I thought thank god I got it out. But I didn’t know there were four more grapes inside his throat.”</p> <p>The toddler continued to choke on the grapes, and Brian says his eyes started “popping out”.</p> <p>The terrified dad began performing abdominal thrusts to try and dislodge the grapes but to no avail.</p> <p>“I told one of the mothers to call the ambulance. I was terrified,” he recalled.</p> <p>“My older son was scared and asked me why there was blood coming from ZaZa’s mouth. I told him to go with another parent because I didn’t want him to see this. I was holding ZaZa and he was looking at me. I gave him CPR again and I tried so hard to save him."</p> <p>“He gave me this look and died in my arms.”</p> <p>“I left home with a beach bag and left with a body bag. It happened so quick. Within a few minutes he was gone. My son Alex is traumatised. He misses his brother so much and I don’t know how to fix it.”</p> <p>Grapes are a notorious choking hazard for children under the age of 5, as it is often recommended to always cut up grapes when feeding them to young kids.</p> <p>Sadly, Zaza consumed the grapes whole, and although the mistake cost his son his life, he doesn't place the blame on anyone.</p> <p>Instead, he wants to educate the public about the importance of cutting up grapes and is now fighting for <a href="https://www.change.org/p/zaza-s-law?source_location=petitions_browse" target="_blank" rel="noopener">change</a> as he hopes to introduce ‘ZaZa’s Law’ to parliament. </p> <p>This new law would ensure there are choking hazard labels on all grape packets and other food items that could be dangerous for small children.</p> <p>“I would hate for this to happen to anyone else. But I hear so many stories about kids dying from choking,” he said.</p> <p>“Ideally, I would like a warning label on all grapes and small foods to warn people to cut them up. Even a big sign at the supermarket for parents."</p> <p>“Not everyone knows this, but every parent needs to be aware of the dangers of food. I want ZaZa’s Law to come into parliament to get labels on everything."</p> <p>“We buy toys and they come with warning labels for things like batteries or other choking hazards. Why can’t we do the same for food?”</p> <p>The dad also hopes that a new anti-choking device, called LifeVac, might be more widely introduced in Australia and placed in public spaces.</p> <p>“Everywhere you go, shopping centres or beaches, there is a defibrillator on the wall,” he explained.</p> <p>“That is great, but we also need those anti-choking devices. It sucks everything up like a plunger and has saved so many lives."</p> <p>“If we had that at the beach that day, ZaZa might still be here.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Courtesy of Brian Bwoga</em></p>

Caring

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"No-brainer": Call for Jack's law to be introduced nationwide

<p>A Queensland father whose son was stabbed on a night out is pushing for Jack's Law to be introduced nationwide in the wake of the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-of-bondi-killer-break-silence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bondi Junction attack</a> and <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/teenage-boy-in-custody-after-stabbing-at-sydney-church" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wakeley Church stabbing</a>. </p> <p>Brett Beasley is urging NSW premier Chris Minns and other states to introduce the anti-knife law which allows police officers to conduct random searches for knives at public transport hubs and Safe Night precincts using metal detecting wands.</p> <p>“It’s an absolute no-brainer,” he told <em>news.com.au</em>.</p> <p>“It’s absolutely extraordinary how well it’s working here in Queensland. I believe every single police officer Australia-wide should have the same powers.” </p> <p>Beasly and his wife Belinda have spent years campaigning for the law following the tragic death of their son Jack, who was stabbed by a group of teens outside a Surfers Paradise convenience store during a night out in 2019. </p> <p>It's been three years since the law was introduced in Queensland, and since then 55,000 people have been searched, 800 weapons have been confiscated and 1400 people have been charged. </p> <p>“It’s the same as being pulled over for a random breath test, it’s exactly the same and it’s working,” Beasly said. </p> <p>“I can guarantee the NSW government, if they were to adopt Jack’s Law, then they will start finding thousands of weapons. It’s scary to think how many of these young offenders are walking around actually armed and getting away with it.”</p> <p>Beasly, who was “absolutely devastated” after hearing about the Bondi Junction stabbing spree, said that the NSW premier should waste no time introducing the law. </p> <p>“Chris Minns shouldn’t even contemplate it. He should just say, ‘Absolutely. Let’s do this’.</p> <p>“I get thousands of messages from people in New South Wales who say ‘We want Jack’s Law down here, we need it down here’.”</p> <p>“To lose a child in any way is absolutely horrendous, and to lose a child to murder is the worst way possible. Your child’s life is taken from them.”</p> <p>Beasly is keen to meet with Minns to discuss rolling out Jacks law in NSW saying: “if Chris Minns is open to a meeting with me, I’ll be on the next flight to Sydney because this government need to make this happen. It’s as simple as that." </p> <p>A NSW government spokesperson has told<em> news.com.au</em> that they “need to look carefully at our current policies to ensure the public is safe”.</p> <p> “The NSW Sentencing Council is currently undertaking a review of the sentencing laws for firearms, knives and other weapons offences. The NSW Government will also look at knife laws,” they said.</p> <p>“We will await the review findings and consider all recommendations carefully.”</p> <p>Beasly is also planning to meet with  the Governor of Western Australia on Monday and hopes that they will also adopt the law. </p> <p>While waiting for other states to adopt the law, Beasly and the Jack Beasley Foundation are delivering free presentations about knife crime in schools. </p> <p>“Let’s work on this together and bond together and make a change and see if we can stop this,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image: Jerad Williams/ news.com.au</em></p>

Legal

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Woman baffled by mother-in-law’s insane ask over baby name

<p dir="ltr">A woman has gone head-to-head with her mother-in-law over the name she has chosen for her unborn child. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pregnant woman took to Reddit to share her unusual predicament, explaining how her mother-in-law has demanded she change the name of her baby. </p> <p dir="ltr">The soon-to-be mum shared how she recently had dinner with her husband’s family, where she decided to reveal the baby’s gender and name. </p> <p dir="ltr">She had been keeping the information secret, but with only a few weeks of her pregnancy left, she decided to share the happy news that she was having a baby boy and had chosen the name Shawn for her son. </p> <p dir="ltr">But not everyone shared her happiness over the moniker, as her mother-in-law went pale with shock and demanded she choose a new name. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My in-laws got quiet for a moment before asking if there were other options we'd considered. Apparently, Shawn is the name of my 17-year-old sister-in-law Ashley's former bully who tormented her [for years],” the pregnant woman explained on Reddit.</p> <p dir="ltr">While she empathised with her in-laws, she didn’t want to change the name as it was the only one her and her husband agreed on for their son. </p> <p dir="ltr">She also explained that she hadn’t known about the family connection when they picked the name, and hadn’t picked it out of any malicious intent. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We took forever to pick a name,” she said. “Shawn is the only one we could agree on.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The dinner party soon ended after the argument began, but the mother-in-law didn’t back down, sending the expecting mum demanding messages.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She texted me and my husband again to ask us to find a new name for Ashley's sake.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“Would I be the a**hole for not wanting to change it? We were only able to agree on it a few weeks ago.”</p> <p dir="ltr"> Commenters were torn over the subject, with many rushing to the pregnant woman’s defence, saying she can pick whatever name she wants for her son. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My spouse and sibling have the same name. Somehow, you just compartmentalise it,” one shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I feel like if a new baby in my family shared a name with my bully I'd just adapt,” another wrote. “After all, Shawn is a VERY common name, so I can't freak out every time I hear it and survive in this world.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, a select few sided with the mother-in-law, sharing how stunned they were that the couple couldn't find enough compassion to pick another name.</p> <p dir="ltr">One person said, “I understand the difficulty of finding a name that feels right, but for me, after learning this, Shawn would quickly become another name that didn't work. It's only been decided on it for a few weeks so I'd just go back to the drawing board.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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If you squat in a vacant property, does the law give you the house for free? Well, sort of

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466">Cathy Sherry</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>Nothing excites law students like the idea of a free house. Or alternatively, enrages them. It depends on their politics. As a result, academics condemned to teaching property law find it hard to resist the “<a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MelbULawRw/2011/28.html">doctrine of adverse possession</a>”. The fact that a person can change the locks on someone else’s house, wait 12 years, and claim it as their own, makes students light up in a way that the Strata Schemes Management Act never will.</p> <p>The idea of “squatters’ rights” has received a lot of media attention recently amid the grim reality of the Australian housing market. It fuels commentators such as Jordan van den Berg, who <a href="https://www.instagram.com/purplepingers/">critiques bad landlords</a> on social media. Casting back to his days as a law student, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/article/jordan-was-fed-up-with-australias-empty-houses-his-proposal-has-led-to-death-threats/stx6rv6fl">he’s promoting</a> the doctrine of adverse possession as a way of making use of vacant properties.</p> <p>As interesting as the doctrine is, it has little relevance in modern Australia. While it is necessary to limit the time someone has to bring legal proceedings to recover land – typically 12 or 15 years, depending on which state you’re in – most people don’t need that long to notice someone else is living in their house. If a family member is occupying a home that someone else has inherited or a tenant refuses to vacate at the end of a lease, owners tend to bring actions to recover their land pronto.</p> <p>So where did this doctrine come from, and what has it meant in practice?</p> <h2>Free house fetching millions</h2> <p>In unusual circumstances, people can lose track of their own land.</p> <p>Just before the second world war, Henry Downie moved out of his house in the Sydney suburb of Ashbury. Downie died a decade later, but his will was never administered. At the time of his death, a Mrs Grimes rented the house and did so for a further 50 years. Downie’s next of kin did not realise they had inherited the house or that they were Grimes’s landlord.</p> <p>Grimes died in 1998 and Bill Gertos, a property developer, saw the house was vacant. He changed the locks, did some repairs, then leased the house and paid the rates for the next 17 years. He then made an application under <a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rpa1900178/s45d.html">NSW property laws</a> to become the registered proprietor. At this point, Downie’s next of kin became aware they may have been entitled to the property and disputed Gertos’s claim.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2018/1629.html">court held</a> Gertos had been “in possession” of the property since the late 1990s. The next of kin had a legal right to eject him, but they had failed to do so within the statutory time limit of 12 years. Gertos had the best claim to the house. He <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/6-malleny-street-ashbury-nsw-2193-2015821514">promptly sold it</a> for A$1.4 million.</p> <p>Outrageous as this may seem, the law encourages caring for land. If you fail to take responsibility for your land, and someone else does, you can lose it.</p> <h2>An old English tradition</h2> <p>Gertos’s jackpot was unusual, and adverse possession has always been more relevant in a country like England.</p> <p>First, for much of English history, many people did not have documentary title (deeds) to their land. People were illiterate, parchment was expensive, and documents could disappear in a puff of smoke in a house fire. The law often had to rely on people’s physical possession of land as proof of ownership.</p> <p>Second, as a result of feudalism, vast swathes of England were owned by the aristocracy. They and their 20th-century successors in title, often local councils, had a habit of forgetting they owned five suburbs in London.</p> <p>In the post second world war housing crisis, thousands of families, and later young people and students, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b017cfv4">squatted in vacant houses</a> owned by public and private landlords who lacked the means or motivation to maintain them.</p> <h2>A sign of the times</h2> <p>In contrast, in Australia, for most of our settler history, governments of all political persuasions actively prevented the emergence of a landed class.</p> <p>But now, courtesy of tax policies that <a href="https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2023/11/the-great-divide">encourage investment</a> in residential real estate, we have a landlord class of Baby Boomer and Gen X investors. That has caused housing market stress as younger people cannot make the natural transition from being renters to homeowners. They are outbid by older, wealthier buyers whose tax benefits from negative gearing increase with every dollar they borrow to buy an investment property.</p> <p>Money flowing into the market then means that landlords’ greatest benefit is capital gain rather than income, and thanks to John Howard, investors pay <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-than-fiction-who-labors-capital-gains-tax-changes-will-really-hurt-109657">no tax</a> on half of that gain.</p> <p>Finally, an almost exclusive reliance by government on the <a href="https://australiainstitute.org.au/post/for-more-affordable-housing-we-need-more-public-housing/">private sector</a> to provide new homes – which it will only do if it is making a profit – has left many people in deep housing stress.</p> <p>While squatters in Australia are likely to find themselves swiftly subject to court orders for ejection, van den Berg’s rallying cry indicates just how inequitable the housing market has become. Baby Boomers and Gen X should be on notice – young people want their housing back. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227556/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466"><em>Cathy Sherry</em></a><em>, Professor in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/if-you-squat-in-a-vacant-property-does-the-law-give-you-the-house-for-free-well-sort-of-227556">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"Lincoln's Law": Grandma's important safety crusade after tragic loss

<p>The tragic loss of three-year-old Lincoln in September 2020 has sparked a passionate plea for immediate changes to safety standards in rental properties across Australia.</p> <p>Lincoln's grandmother, Kerrie Shearer, has been relentless in her pursuit of ensuring that no other family suffers the heartache they have endured.</p> <p>Lincoln's untimely death occurred when he became entangled in a blind cord while innocently playing on a windowsill at his Melbourne home. Despite the family's vigilance, the accident claimed the life of their beloved Lincoln, leaving them shattered and grief-stricken. Now, Shearer is determined to turn her pain into action by advocating for legislative changes to prevent similar tragedies.</p> <p>As a renter, Lincoln's family had little control over the safety features of their dwelling. They are now calling for new laws mandating older rental homes to comply with modern blind safety standards. Shearer says that the need to address loose hanging blinds is crucial, labelling them as potential accidents waiting to happen. By campaigning for legislative reforms, she hopes to spare other families from experiencing the same devastation.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">While guidelines stipulate that window furnishings in homes built after 2010 must adhere to strict safety measures, there are no such regulations for older properties. Shearer finds it astonishing that many people remain unaware of the dangers posed by unsecured blind cords. She recounts her experiences of visiting various accommodations, including Airbnbs and hotels, where she noticed inadequate safety measures and felt compelled to alert the hosts.</span></p> <p>"I'm constantly amazed how people aren't aware," she told <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/victoria-news-grandmother-warns-of-blind-safety-risk-after-grandson-dies/83accc08-8cf2-463a-8cc7-6f87fa905a5b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9News</a>. "I go to AirBnBs and hotels now and I'm at them, 'Hey your blinds aren't attached to the wall.'"</p> <p>Shearer's advocacy has gained momentum via her collaboration with Kidsafe, a prominent nonprofit organisation dedicated to preventing unintentional injuries and deaths among children. Together, they aim to broaden safety requirements for older homes, advocating for what Shearer passionately refers to as "Lincoln's law". She insists that any looped or hanging cords present a significant danger to children and must be securely affixed to the wall to prevent entanglement accidents.</p> <p>The impact of Shearer's tireless efforts is already evident, with reports indicating that the state government is considering the introduction of mandatory blind cord safety standards for all rental properties, regardless of their age. This potential development marks a significant step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of children in rental accommodations across the country.</p> <p>In the wake of her family's tragedy, Shearer's determination to effect change not only honours the memory of Lincoln but also holds the potential to prevent countless other families from enduring similar heartbreak – ensuring that his tragic passing was not in vain.</p> <p><em>Images: 9News</em></p>

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Does the royal family have a right to privacy? What the law says

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gemma-horton-1515949">Gemma Horton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sheffield-1147">University of Sheffield</a></em></p> <p>From court cases to conspiracy theories, the royal family’s right to privacy is, somewhat ironically, nearly always in the spotlight. The latest focus is Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, whose whereabouts have been the subject of <a href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a60008117/kate-middleton-health-speculation-conspiracy-theories-online/">online speculation</a> after it was announced she was undergoing abdominal surgery and would be away from public duties until after Easter.</p> <p>This comes just weeks after King Charles <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68208157">revealed that he is undergoing treatment for cancer</a>, and a legal settlement between Prince Harry and Mirror Group Newspapers over <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68249009">illegal phone hacking</a>.</p> <p>Interest in the personal lives of the royals and other celebrities <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1461670X.2016.1150193">is a constant</a>, driving newspaper sales and online clicks for decades. You only needs to consider the media frenzy that followed Princess Diana to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17512786.2013.833678">see this</a>, and its potentially devastating consequences.</p> <p>From a legal perspective, the British courts have ruled that everyone – the royal family included – is entitled to a right to privacy. The Human Rights Act incorporates into British law the rights set out by the European Convention on Human Rights. This includes article 8, which focuses on the right to privacy.</p> <p>In the years after the Human Rights Act came into force, courts ruled on a string of cases from celebrities claiming that the press invaded their privacy. Courts had to balance article 8 of the convention against article 10, the right to freedom of expression.</p> <p>Rulings repeatedly stated that, despite being in and sometimes seeking the limelight, celebrities should still be afforded a right to privacy. Some disagree with this position, such as prominent journalist <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/prince-harry-hacking-piers-morgan-b2336442.html">Piers Morgan, who has criticised</a> the Duke and Duchess of Sussex asking for privacy when they have also released a Netflix documentary, a broadcast interview with Oprah Winfrey and published a memoir.</p> <p>But the courts have made the position clear, as in the case concerning Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas after Hello! Magazine published unauthorised photographs from their wedding. The <a href="https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/190559/3/Final%20Edited%20Version%20-%20Celebrity%20Privacy%20and%20Celebrity%20Journalism-%20Has%20anything%20changed%20since%20the%20Leveson%20Inquiry_.pdf">court stated</a> that: “To hold that those who have sought any publicity lose all protection would be to repeal article 8’s application to very many of those who are likely to need it.”</p> <p>There is no universal definition of privacy, but scholars have identified key concepts encompassing what privacy can entail. In my own research, I have argued that the <a href="https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/190559/3/Final%20Edited%20Version%20-%20Celebrity%20Privacy%20and%20Celebrity%20Journalism-%20Has%20anything%20changed%20since%20the%20Leveson%20Inquiry_.pdf">notion of choice</a> is one of these. Privacy allows us to control the spread of information about ourselves and disclose information to whom we want.</p> <h2>Privacy and the public interest</h2> <p>There are exceptions to these protections if the person involved had no reasonable expectation of privacy, or if it was in the public interest for this information to be revealed. There is no solid, legal definition of the “public interest”, so this is decided on a case-by-case basis.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17577632.2021.1889866">In the past</a>, the public interest defence has been applied because a public figure or official has acted hypocritically and the courts have stated there is a right for a publisher to set the record straight.</p> <p>When it comes to medical records and information concerning health, case law and journalistic <a href="https://www.ipso.co.uk/editors-code-of-practice/">editorial codes of conduct</a> are clear that this information is afforded the utmost protection.</p> <p>Model Naomi Campbell was pictured leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and these images were published by the Daily Mirror. The court found that there had been a public interest in revealing the fact she was attending these meetings, as she had previously denied substance abuse.</p> <p>The House of Lords accepted that there was a public interest in the press “setting the record straight”. Nonetheless, the publication of additional, confidential details, and the photographs of her leaving the meeting were a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/may/06/mirror.pressandpublishing1">step too far</a>. The House of Lords highlighted the importance of being able to keep medical records and information private.</p> <h2>Royal health</h2> <p>When it comes to the royals, the history of <a href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a23798094/lindo-wing-st-marys-hospital-facts-photos/">publicity</a> around royal births, often posing with the newborn royal baby outside of the hospital, has set a precedent for what the public can expect about the royals’ medical information. When they choose to go against this tradition, it can frustrate both royal-watchers and publishers.</p> <p>King Charles made the choice to openly speak about his enlarged prostate to “assist public understanding”. And, as Prostate Cancer UK noted, this has worked – they noted a <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/king-charles-cancer-statement-treatment-b2494190.html">500% increase in people visiting their website</a>. However, he has chosen to not to divulge information about his cancer diagnosis beyond the fact that he is receiving treatment. This is his right.</p> <p>While revealing further information might stop speculation and rumours about his health, it is not the king’s duty to divulge private, medical information. However, if his health begins to impact his ability to act as monarch, the situation could change.</p> <p>It might be that the press finds more information about his health without his knowledge, but unless they have a genuine public interest in publishing this information, privacy should prevail.</p> <p>You would no doubt want your private medical information kept secret, not shared around your workplace and speculated on unless it was absolutely necessary. It is thanks to these laws and court precedent that you don’t have to worry about this. The royal family, regardless of their position, should expect the same standard.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gemma-horton-1515949"><em>Gemma Horton</em></a><em>, Impact Fellow for Centre for Freedom of the Media, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sheffield-1147">University of Sheffield</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-the-royal-family-have-a-right-to-privacy-what-the-law-says-224881">original article</a>.</em></p>

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“My sister-in-law announced she was pregnant at my child’s funeral”

<p dir="ltr">A woman has asked for advice on how to navigate her relationship with her sister-in-law, after the woman overheard an inappropriate conversation at her child’s funeral. </p> <p dir="ltr">The grieving mother, a 28-year-old named Melissa, took to Reddit to share the heartbreaking story of how her toddler passed away after a battle with cancer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Melissa described the time as the “hardest in my life”, explaining how she felt she lost “a part of herself” after the funeral.</p> <p dir="ltr">While Melissa expected her toddlers’ memorial service to be difficult, she never predicted a family member would make it even harder. </p> <p dir="ltr">The mother said that when she heard her sister-in-law telling people about her pregnancy, she thought the move was just cruel. </p> <p dir="ltr">“She didn't make a big announcement but more than ten people at the service 'heard' and it's what everyone was talking about. To understate it, I was livid,” Melissa wrote on Reddit.</p> <p dir="ltr">Melissa’s post then asked social media users for advice, as she was unsure how much of a relationship she wanted to have with her sister-in-law after the stunt. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 28-year-old shared that she had fallen pregnant herself, and was facing pressure to have a party in celebration, but she didn’t want her whole family in attendance. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I've been working on who I want to invite, and I really don't want my SIL there,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Besides what she did, she's a vindictive and mean person and I cannot stand her.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I mentioned it to my husband and he says he couldn't care less whether she's there or not. But for the sake of saving face, I want opinions before I do this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She asked the online forum if she would be “an a**hole” for not inviting her, addin that she would still be inviting her husband's other sister and husband's brother's wife. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The original SIL will be the only one not invited,” she clarified.</p> <p dir="ltr">The post was flooded with comments as many backed up Melissa, slamming the sister-in-law for her selfish behaviour. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I wouldn't want someone like that around me. Announcing a pregnancy at a child's funeral is insane,” one said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Cut her off and ignore everyone close to her. You are right to have nothing to do with her. She's totally classless.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, others encouraged her to have an adult conversation with her sister-in-law in an attempt to mend their relationship.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Please let it go,” one person began. “This happened on a terrible day during a bad time for you. It's possible that could be clouding how you're looking at this, she may not have been malicious at all.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Mother bans in-laws from seeing her baby after they go against her wishes

<p dir="ltr">A woman has banned her in-laws from seeing her newborn daughter after they “betrayed her trust” and directly went against her wishes. </p> <p dir="ltr">The new mum shared the story to Reddit, as she explained why she was cutting contact with her husband’s parents after they pierced her child’s ears without their knowledge or consent. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My husband is from a culture where it's not uncommon to pierce baby girls' ears and his mother started pestering me about getting my daughter's ears pierced a few days after she was born,” the 32-year-old mum began. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I made it clear that I would not be doing that, and that I'd be waiting until she's old enough to ask for it herself. We live in my country where piercing a baby's ears isn't common at all.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The new mum's world soon came crashing down after the baby spent a weekend with her grandparents, before she went back to her parents red in the face and screaming. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My mother-in-law was looking after her over the weekend and decided to pierce her ears without my knowledge or consent.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“When I saw this I threw a fit. My baby was crying in pain, and I actually took her to the doctor to get their advice on whether or not to take them out.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The doctor advised the parent to take the earrings out as they were irritating the baby, but the issue didn’t end there. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I decided at that moment that my mother-in-law and everyone else on that side of the family (except for my sister-in-law, who's on my side about this) is going to have no alone contact with my daughter ever again - or at least until she's a teenager.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“My worry is that she'll do the same thing again, and to be frank, she's lost my trust entirely. I told her that if she had a problem with that, I'd report what she did to the police.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The husband of the baby girl reluctantly sided with his wife over the issue, despite saying it wasn’t a big deal and suggesting everyone move on from the incident.</p> <p dir="ltr">The story prompted a mixed response online, with some people saying the woman was overreacting and should work towards rebuilding trust with her in-laws.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others, however, had the opposite opinion, with one person saying, “Forget rebuilding trust, I'd be having them charged with assault.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another person said, “They mutilated a child and they knew it was against the parents wishes. These people have serious problems. Not that I'd press charges, but getting holes poked in someone else's kid is a huge thing.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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"I was terrified": Law & Order star reveals traumatic past

<p><em>Warning: This story contains graphic content.</em></p> <p>Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, a character that investigate rapists on <em>Law &amp; Order: Special Victims Unit, </em>has revealed that she too is a victim of sexual assault. </p> <p>The actress opened up about her traumatic past in a powerful essay written for <a href="https://people.com/mariska-hargitay-experience-rape-renewal-reckoning-8424247" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People Magazine</em></a>, where she revealed that she was raped by “a friend" when she was in her thirties. </p> <p>"A man raped me in my thirties," she bravely revealed in the essay. </p> <p>"It wasn’t sexual at all. It was dominance and control. Overpowering control."</p> <p>The actress revealed that he was a friend who "made a unilateral decision" and recalled the fear she felt when the incident occurred. </p> <p>"He grabbed me by the arms and held me down. I was terrified," she said. </p> <p>"I didn’t want it to escalate to violence. I now know it was already sexual violence, but I was afraid he would become physically violent.</p> <p>"I went into freeze mode, a common trauma response when there is no option to escape. I checked out of my body," she recalled. </p> <p>Hargitay, who is the daughter of the late actress Jane Mansfield, said that she never thought of herself as a "survivor", and often "minimised" what happened to her when she talked about it with others. </p> <p>"My husband Peter remembers me saying, “I mean, it wasn’t rape," she wrote. </p> <p>"Then things started shifting in me, and I began talking about it more in earnest with those closest to me. They were the first ones to call it what it was."</p> <p>The actress said that she wants other survivors to feel "no shame" about sexual assault and wants "this violence to end." </p> <p>She added that justice "may look different for each survivor," but for her she wants "an acknowledgment and an apology" after what happened. </p> <p>"This is a painful part of my story. The experience was horrible. But it doesn’t come close to defining me, in the same way that no other single part of my story defines me," she concluded, adding that she feels for all sexual violence survivors. </p> <p>"I’m turning 60, and I’m so deeply grateful for where I am. I’m renewed and I’m flooded with compassion for all of us who have suffered. And I’m still proudly in process."</p> <p>Hargitay started her own foundation, the Joyful Heart Foundation, in 2004 to help survivors of sexual assault. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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John Laws hangs up in disgust on Kyle and Jackie O

<p>The radio waves became a battlefield this morning as the titans of Australian talkback clashed in a dramatic showdown involving corset dresses, colon procedures – and a surprise departure for medical attention.</p> <p>The day kicked off with Jackie O making a grand entrance, albeit a slightly woozy one, having undergone surgery to bid farewell to a cervical polyp. Kyle, ever the supportive co-host, explained to listeners that Jackie was feeling under the weather and experiencing some tingling in her arm. (Because, as you know, corset dresses and surgery recovery are a match made in radio heaven.)</p> <p>"She just stepped out for a lay down. She’s got like a corset dress on and she had an operation yesterday," Kyle explained, giving us all a mental image of a radio host napping in style.</p> <p>But that was just the appetiser. The main course featured none other than radio legend John Laws, who decided to play hardball with the hosts in a dramatic fashion. Scheduled for an interview to celebrate an impressive 70 years on-air, Laws decided he'd had enough after catching wind of Jackie O's surgical  – and, let's face it, highly graphic – revelations.</p> <p>Jackie O explained to a bemused Kyle that her surgeon had operated on her “via the colon or the vagina, I’m not sure which... What must I have looked like on the operating table? Nude, shower cap...” </p> <p>Now, let's take a moment to appreciate the delicacy of the situation. Laws, a seasoned broadcaster, chose that exact moment to hang up on the dynamic duo faster than you can say "corset controversy". Apparently, the mere thought of following that "real" a discussion about medical procedures, particularly those involving the nether regions, was way too much for his delicate radio palate.</p> <p>In an unexpected turn of events, Laws' assistant then became the unwilling messenger between the offended radio icon and and the KIISFM hosts. “Is it true he got angry about Jackie’s disgusting story?” Kyle asked. The assistant revealed that Laws "just doesn’t like it, Jackie. He doesn’t like following all that talk about vaginas." A sentiment we're sure many have echoed when trying to enjoy their morning coffee.</p> <p>But the cherry on top was Laws hanging up not once, but twice! Cementing forever his stance on steering clear of on-air discussions involving surgical escapades.</p> <p>Jackie O valiantly defended herself, insisting it wasn't gratuitous and was, in fact, a perfectly normal chat about a medical procedure. Laws, unmoved, made it clear he had no interest in such shenanigans.</p> <p>As if that weren't enough drama for one day, Jackie O had to bow out early due to feeling unwell, prompting Kyle to make a mercy call to Laws on-air to explain the situation. Laws, ever the gentleman, softened his stance, admitting he was just surprised at the talk and muttering a nonchalant "never mind".</p> <p>After that morning of medical misadventures, corset calamities and a radio veteran hanging up, who would have guessed that a discussion about surgery could cause such a ruckus?</p> <p><em>Images: KIISFM / X </em></p>

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No gavels, no hearsay and lots of drinking: a law expert ranks legal dramas by their accuracy

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dale-mitchell-1468293">Dale Mitchell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-the-sunshine-coast-1068">University of the Sunshine Coast</a></em></p> <p>From Elle Woods in Legally Blonde to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10383441.2015.1087367">Jennifer Walters in She-Hulk</a>, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird to Denny Crane in Boston Legal, our popular culture is often where we first see and witness legal practice.</p> <p>Sometimes this comes via the silver screen, other times television. But it would be wrong to think that all we see on legal television shows is accurate – even when it claims to capture reality.</p> <p>Most legal dramas are terrible at capturing the realities of law.</p> <h2>Not accurate: Law(less) and (dis)Order</h2> <p>Law and Order (1990-) innovated television drama by showcasing both the investigation of a crime by police, and then its prosecution in court. With its multiple spin-offs, including Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-) and the shortlived Law and Order: Trial by Jury (2005-2006) (which had the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aolG65V1Dx8">best theme song of all the series</a>), the Law and Order franchise is a televisual legal juggernaut.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aolG65V1Dx8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>As with most serials, Law and Order presents the criminal justice system as moving quicker than you can say <em>dun dun</em>. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The mean duration of criminal law matters in Australian higher courts was <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/criminal-courts-australia/latest-release">almost one year</a> (50 weeks) across 2021-22.</p> <p>While <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s5.html">procedural rules in civil matters</a> require courts to facilitate the “just and efficient resolution of disputes at minimum expense”, in criminal law, speed and efficiency must not be prioritised over accuracy: a person’s liberty is at stake.</p> <p>Most criminal matters do not proceed to a full trial as an accused will often plead guilty to the charges. As a result, the matter proceeds to sentencing without prosecutors needing to prove the offence. The rates of this occurring are quite alarming. <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/criminal-courts-australia/latest-release">Data across 2021-22</a> reveals over 75% of defendants in Australian courts entered a guilty plea, and almost four in five criminal convictions (79%) resulted from a guilty plea.</p> <p><a href="https://law.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1705761/32_1_8.pdf">Research suggests</a> defendants plead guilty for a variety of reasons, including to avoid the cost of a trial and to receive a lesser sentence. <a href="https://theconversation.com/pandemic-pushed-defendants-to-plead-guilty-more-often-including-innocent-people-pleading-to-crimes-they-didnt-commit-165056">Data from the United States</a> suggests the pressures of the pandemic led to innocent people pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit.</p> <p>If Law and Order was a more accurate reflection of criminal law, matters would proceed immediately to sentencing due to guilty pleas. And should an accused be found guilty, a chunk of their sentence would be reduced by time served awaiting trial.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/60GV5lv8h3o?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Not accurate: Suits</h2> <p>Suits (2011-19) centres around law firm partner Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and his mentorship of Mike Ross (Patrick Adams) – the “lawyer” who never graduated law school and provides legal advice thanks to his photographic memory.</p> <p>This is, obviously, a brutal ethical breach for all involved, and clearly fraud. In Australia, law students who present themselves to be lawyers are <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-07/law-graduate-jacob-reichman-fined-posing-solicitor-gold-coast/7824324">subject to sanctions</a> by the Legal Services Commission. They can <a href="https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/35821-fake-lawyer-cops-suspended-jail-sentence">cause harm to clients</a> who have hired their services. And the Legal Admissions Board may <a href="https://www.qlsproctor.com.au/2020/11/chief-justice-wants-answers-before-considering-lawyer-impersonators-bid-to-become-legal-practitioner/">deny their entry</a> into the profession.</p> <p>(Spoilers) Ross is eventually sentenced to two years in prison for this fraud, a similar sentence to <a href="https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/almID/1202786675709/">a recent case in the United States</a>, but he only serves three months before solving a crime and earning early release. More unrealistic than this early release is that Ross does fairly quickly thereafter gain admission to the profession, which seems unlikely to occur so soon after such an act of fraud.</p> <p>While Suits has left its mark(le) on the popular imagination of law, it fails to address one of the primary duties of civil litigation: the duty of disclosure.</p> <p>The MacGuffin-ing of law is common in TV serials. It’s the “smoking gun” found on the day of the trial, or for the lawyers in Suits, the random document which shows up <em>during</em> the trial to turn the case - dramatically presented by our protagonists as they flail into court armed with this data sans ethics.</p> <p>This is not quite accurate.</p> <p>In adversarial legal systems like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, civil litigation rules <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s211.html">require parties</a> to disclose to one another all documents in their possession or control which are directly relevant to a matter in dispute.</p> <p>This is a continuing duty, so if you discover such a document at any time during the case, it must be disclosed. While <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s212.html">exceptions</a> based on various privileges may apply, this essentially means civil litigation must be run in an “all cards on the table” manner. Randomly producing undisclosed material at trial requires the leave of the court and may result in orders of contempt and <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_reg/ucpr1999305/s225.html">cost penalties</a>.</p> <p>It’s not like the lawyers of Suits have ever really been concerned about ethics, though.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wUh9jomHZp4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Not accurate: How to Get Away with Murder(ing rules of evidence)</h2> <p>While most lawyers would support making it a criminal offence to critique Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder (2014-20) presents one of the most common offences within legal dramas: the haphazard approach to rules of evidence.</p> <p>Annalise Keating (Davis) and her ragtag team of morally illiterate law students (although I never see them studying?!?!) manipulate people to obtain evidence and then dramatically prompt witnesses on the stand to read this information into the record, or otherwise “sneak” it into the trial.</p> <p>This is not accurate. And it ignores the basic reality that so much of legal practice is about not just obtaining evidence, but ensuring that evidence is admissible in court.</p> <p>One of the most important rules of evidence deals with <a href="http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s59.html"><em>hearsay evidence</em></a>. A court cannot allow evidence to be considered if its reliability is unable to be interrogated. Witnesses can only present evidence that they saw, heard or perceived themselves. Unless an exception to the hearsay rule applies, such evidence would be inadmissible.</p> <p>Like in Suits, these approaches to presenting evidence may have serious implications. This poor trial management results in <a href="https://www.aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/rpp074.pdf">delays to criminal trials.</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMB_Gw5-T-I?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Accurate: Fisk</h2> <p>Fisk (2021-) follows Helen Tudor-Fisk (Kitty Flanagan), an established contract lawyer whose personal dramas lead her to move to the boutique Melbourne probate law firm of Gruber and Gruber (played by Marty Sheargold and Julia Zamero).</p> <p>Fisk excels in showing the importance of lawyer-client relations and the word-of-mouth that sustains much of small legal practice. It’s the anti-Suits, and Fisk is more powerful for it.</p> <p>The discussions of wills and estates and most basic legal principles in Fisk are mostly sound – and the show doesn’t need to get into “legalese” as matters are resolved out-of-court.</p> <p>This is a distinct reality of law: litigation is a last resort. Forms of <a href="https://www.qls.com.au/Practising-law-in-Qld/ADR/Alternative-Dispute-Resolution/Types-of-Alternative-Dispute-Resolution-(ADR)">alternative dispute resolution</a>, including mediation, negotiation and conciliation, have become the primary way of resolving legal disputes.</p> <p>Fuelled by <a href="https://www.ag.gov.au/legal-system/alternative-dispute-resolution/civil-dispute-resolution-act-2011">legislative changes</a> which require the exhaustion of alternative dispute resolution measures before proceeding to litigation, and a pursuit of reduced costs, the drama of trial is not something anyone should yearn for.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N1Qt0Wo1gGo?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Accurate: Rake</h2> <p>Cleaver Greene, a character said to be loosely based on the career of a Sydney barrister, shows us the absolute madness of work as a “<a href="https://nswbar.asn.au/the-bar-association/senior-counsel#:%7E:text=Senior%20counsel%20are%20barristers%20who,a%20QC%20or%20queen's%20counsel.">silk</a>”. Rake excels at showing the reality of law. The show raises interesting and accurate questions of law (yes, it is true there is no <a href="https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/bitstream/10453/18992/1/2011006119.pdf">explicit offence</a> of cannibalism in New South Wales) and presents Australian court process accurately.</p> <p>Thankfully, there’s not a gavel in sight. <a href="https://www.survivelaw.com/post/941-working-hardly-random-facts-about-the-gavel">Australian courts <em>do not</em> use gavels</a>, and their presence in legal dramas in Australian and UK courts shows a lack of attention to detail. The presence of the gavel as a symbol of justice is <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/NSWBarAssocNews/1994/17.pdf">an entirely American invention</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qWWI2EdOssk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Rake is accurate, in part, because the site of drama is rarely the courtroom, but rather Greene’s personal life. The accuracy of that element for law I will leave up to the jury. But with a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13218719.2013.822783">2014 study</a> finding 35% of lawyers engaged in hazardous or harmful drinking and another showing <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-15/study-finds-high-rates-anxiety-depression-in-legal-profession/11412832">high rates of anxiety and depression</a> in the legal profession, the evidence is compelling.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212880/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dale-mitchell-1468293"><em>Dale Mitchell</em></a><em>, Lecturer in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-the-sunshine-coast-1068">University of the Sunshine Coast</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-gavels-no-hearsay-and-lots-of-drinking-a-law-expert-ranks-legal-dramas-by-their-accuracy-212880">original article</a>.</em></p>

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What are your rights as an Airbnb renter in Australia? A law expert answers 6 common questions

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-giancaspro-182268">Mark Giancaspro</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p>Airbnb has revolutionised the short-stay industry. Launched in 2008, it now eclipses the world’s biggest hotel chains. In Australia alone there are about <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-15/short-stay-rentals-airbnb-impact-on-australian-property-market/101019726">100,000 listed properties</a>.</p> <p>But in dealing with both a digital platform and a private owner (or “host”, in Airbnb-speak), your legal rights as a renter (or “guest”) can be unclear – at least without reading lengthy terms and conditions.</p> <p>This article answers six very common questions about using Airbnb in Australia. Please note that your legal rights may differ in other countries. Even if Airbnb’s terms and conditions are near identical – and they generally are – there may be differences in consumer laws.</p> <h2>What if an Airbnb property doesn’t match its description?</h2> <p>Airbnb’s <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2908#6">terms and conditions</a> require the host to provide “complete and accurate information” about their property. Content, including photos, must be “up-to-date and accurate at all times”. Airbnb’s <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2895/">Host Ground Rules</a> state that listings “should accurately describe the home and reflect the features and amenities that will be available”.</p> <p>If a property does not match its description or photos, <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/d/anz-prohost-resource-centre-support">report this to Airbnb</a>.</p> <p>False advertising will also likely breach the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits (Section 18) commercial conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive. Report to the <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/report-a-consumer-issue">Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</a> here.</p> <p>There are no specific provisions to claim a refund or a discount for misleading listings. Your only recourse would seem be to initiate the cancellation policy that applies to your booking.</p> <h2>So when can I get a refund?</h2> <p>If you cancel your booking or leave the property early, your refund rights are determined by your <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/149">cancellation policy</a> (see “show trip details”).</p> <p>There are various <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/475">policies</a> (from which a host selects when listing). Most allow full refunds if you cancel one to five days prior to check-in, while others require up to 30 days’ notice or only provide partial refunds.</p> <p>If the host cancels on you, they <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/990">may be penalised</a> by Airbnb.</p> <h2>Can an Airbnb host impose harsh and unreasonable ‘house rules’?</h2> <p>If an owner wants to make rules against visitors without their permission or how many times you can use the washing machine, they generally can.</p> <p>When you rent a property through Airbnb, you are entering into a private agreement with the owner. Under contract law, they can stipulate whatever terms they like, so long as those rules aren’t illegal.</p> <p>What Australian Consumer Law does prohibit are <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/selling-products-and-services/contracts#toc-unfair-terms-in-standard-form-contracts-">unfair terms</a> in standard form “consumer contracts” – which an Airbnb contract likely qualifies as. An unfair term is one that:</p> <ul> <li>causes a significant imbalance in your rights and obligations</li> <li>is not reasonably necessary to protect the host’s interests</li> <li>would cause you detriment (financial or otherwise) if it was enforced.</li> </ul> <p>The problem is that you will need to sue the host (that is, initiate civil litigation) to prove this.</p> <p>Your best option is to carefully review the rules before you confirm your reservation. Once you confirm, you are legally agreeing to all of the host’s terms whether you’ve read and understood them or not.</p> <p>If you disagree with a rule, ask the host to waive or amend it. If they won’t budge, your choice is to book or not.</p> <h2>What are the boundaries for an Airbnb host/owner?</h2> <p>Hosts are <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3057">required</a> to ensure every property is secure and safe. Airbnb’s Community Policy states properties must be properly lockable and free of hazards, and hosts must be responsive and willing to answer guest queries within a reasonable time.</p> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3060?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1691395791_NmY1ZDNmZjQxZjQy">According to Airbnb</a>, a host cannot physically intrude or interfere with your stay. They can only re-enter their property (or a guest’s room in a shared stay) if there is an emergency or with express permission.</p> <p>In a shared stay, the host must not enter the bathrooms or guest bedrooms when the guests are inside. The host is also forbidden from sharing private details, photos, or videos of you without consent.</p> <p>Where your safety is threatened, you should contact law enforcement and notify Airbnb. If you decide to leave, you may be entitled to a partial refund. Your rights depend on the cancellation policy applying to your booking (discussed further below).</p> <h2>If I am injured in or get sick because of an Airbnb property, can I claim compensation?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2908#4.2">Clause 4.2</a> of Airbnb’s terms and conditions states that, by staying at a listed property, you acknowledge and “freely and willfully” accept the risk of “illness, bodily injury, disability, or death”.</p> <p>Further, clause 19 contains a broad disclaimer absolving Airbnb of any liability for “personal or bodily injury or emotional distress” incurred in using its services. Clause 20 also contains an indemnity preventing you from making any claim against Airbnb in relation to your stay.</p> <p>This gives Airbnb legal protection. But you may make a claim against the host.</p> <p>The first step would be to formally write to the host outlining your claim. Airbnb may also assist with any disputes. If this fails, you can sue the host but whether the cost and effort is worth it will depend on the extent of your injury or illness.</p> <p>If you do make any claim against the host, they will likely rely on Airbnb’s insurance. Every Airbnb host is insured up to US$1 million (about A$1.5 million) through Airbnb’s <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3145">Host Liability Insurance Programme</a>. This covers any bodily injuries incurred by guests (or others) and damage to or theft of any property belonging to a guest (or others).</p> <p>There are some exceptions to what Airbnb’s insurance will cover, such as intentional violence, mould and communicable disease. If you want compensation for something the host is personally liable for, you are more likely to have to take legal action, using a lawyer. Consider the costs carefully.</p> <h2>What’s the maximum cleaning/damages fee an Airbnb host can charge?</h2> <p>Cleaning fees are <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/2812">set by the host</a>. Airbnb provides a <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/help/article/3171">pricing tool</a> to help them calculate a reasonable fee – generally <a href="https://www.igms.com/airbnb-cleaning-fee/">based on size and facilities</a> – but there is no maximum, presumably on the rationale that market forces (and reviews) will deter hosts from charging too much.</p> <p>Nor is there a maximum damages fee. You can formally <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/d/anz-prohost-resource-centre-support">dispute the amount</a> with Airbnb, which will determine if it is reasonable, relying on information provided by both parties.</p> <p>Charging exorbitant prices is not illegal though Australian Consumer Law does prohibit “<a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/selling-products-and-services/unfair-business-practices#toc-unconscionable-conduct">unconscionable conduct</a>”. But, again, you need to initiate legal proceedings and have a court agree you deserve compensation.</p> <h2>Where to go for help and advice</h2> <p>You can <a href="https://www.airbnb.com.au/d/anz-prohost-resource-centre-support">contact Airbnb</a> for any account, listing, or reservation-related questions. Online forums can also be useful for advice and support.</p> <p>You can report consumer complaints to the <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/report-a-consumer-issue">Australian Competition and Consumer Commission</a> but the federal regulator does not resolve individual complaints or provide legal advice on your rights and obligations. For preliminary advice go to the following state and territory consumer advice agencies:</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="lhlWv" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lhlWv/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><em>Please note this article does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a lawyer.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211026/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-giancaspro-182268">Mark Giancaspro</a>, Senior Lecturer in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-your-rights-as-an-airbnb-renter-in-australia-a-law-expert-answers-6-common-questions-211026">original article</a>.</em></p>

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What is the difference between the laws of cricket and the ‘spirit’ of cricket?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vaughan-cruickshank-396715">Vaughan Cruickshank</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>The second Ashes Test ended in tense scenes on Sunday following the controversial dismissal of English batsman Jonny Bairstow. His stumping infuriated a pro-England crowd at the famous Lord’s ground and divided the cricketing world.</p> <p>While the Australians would no doubt have preferred to win with less controversy, did they actually do anything wrong?</p> <p>In answer to that question, it’s widely accepted, even by the English team, that his dismissal was within the laws of cricket. But critics then invoked the “spirit of cricket” to suggest the Australians should not have asked for the dismissal to be upheld. So what is the difference?</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket">laws of cricket</a> detail the rules of the game of cricket worldwide. They have been owned and maintained by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in London for over 200 years.</p> <p>The rules are clear and the many English fans and past players, along with the <a href="https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/ashes-2023-jonny-bairstow-stumped-by-alex-carey-cricket-rule-explained-was-he-out-was-the-decision-right-second-test-at-lords-reaction-news/news-story/41f36dc48a1515effb69a5c18acccf5a">current captain and coach</a>, have acknowledged the umpires were correct according to those laws.</p> <p>That’s when we get to the “spirit”. Since the late 1990s, the laws of cricket have also had an introductory statement or preamble. It states that cricket should be played not only according to the laws, <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket/spirit-of-cricket">but also in the “spirit of cricket”</a>“.</p> <p>This preamble is aimed at reminding players and officials of their responsibility for ensuring cricket is played <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket/spirit-of-cricket">in a truly sportsmanlike manner</a>.</p> <p>The two captains have the main responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play is upheld. This primarily involves making sure players show respect for other players, officials and the traditional values of cricket. It is against the spirit of the game to do things such as dispute an umpire’s decision, verbally or physically abuse a player or umpire, or cheat.</p> <p>The problem is the "spirit of cricket” is a subjective and slightly hazy concept. Respected English cricket writers have even suggested it has not existed since 1882, using an <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2023/07/04/the-ashes-cheating-bairstow-spirit-of-cricket-tradition/">example of conduct</a> by the “father of cricket”, W.G. Grace himself.</p> <p>While cricket is united under its laws, cricket is a global game and the idea of the “spirit” differs around the world. Consequently, opinions about Bairstow’s dismissal have been highly polarised. Many English players and fans are very angry at what has occurred, accusing Australia of going against the “spirit of cricket”. The fact they narrowly lost the match no doubt intensified this feeling.</p> <p>Their anger is reflected in the front-page stories in <a href="https://twitter.com/cric_blog/status/1675808745656573954">numerous English newspapers</a> and in social media posts. Twitter has had tens of thousands of tweets under trending hashtags such as #Ashes, #Bairstow and #SpiritofCricket.</p> <p>Interestingly, a look at these hashtags also reveal numerous accusations of hypocrisy by the English, backed up with <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/ashes-cricket-2023-eight-times-england-broke-the-spirit-of-cricket-as-bairstow-incident-ignites/52QFZT4ES5FG5OUBZMUKGJHEYI/">examples</a> of England’s questionable, and sometimes very similar, conduct. These examples have included central figures such as English players <a href="https://twitter.com/BigOtrivia/status/1675643613689311232">Stuart</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MitchellGlenn/status/1675685369898242048">Broad</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/1116sen/status/1676076294306689026">Jonny</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TonyIKnow/status/1676246531387846657">Bairstow</a> and coach <a href="https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/cant-reward-stupidity-brendan-mccullums-words-come-back-to-bite-him/news-story/b4f114547671fa325b11a3acef806ae2">Brendon McCullum</a>.</p> <p>Additionally, the only player who has been fined for displaying <a href="https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/3542860">conduct contrary</a> to the spirit of the game in this Ashes series is English player Moeen Ali.</p> <p>Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting noted that a key part of the spirit of cricket was <a href="https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/ashes-2023-cricket-news-ricky-ponting-hits-out-at-ben-stokes-response-to-lords-furore/news-story/cd9859c2dfc32c007e6e9c76a22136be">respecting the umpire’s decision</a>, which in this instance he said the English players, fans and press had not. Indeed, several MCC members have been <a href="https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/66082409">suspended</a> over their abuse of Australian cricketers returning to their dressing room.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yiuo50uCL9s?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Perhaps the key lesson that both sides could learn can be encapsulated in the old saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, particularly in the modern age when evidence can be quickly <a href="https://www.thechronicle.com.au/sport/cricket/jonny-bairstow-footage-all-but-silences-englands-spirit-of-the-game-debate/news-story/4a4b6d8f9ce801fb23169e6d8c87a5f3">found on the internet</a>.</p> <p>Neither country has a clean slate when it comes to the “spirit of cricket”. Both should be careful about trying to take the moral high ground. Trevor Chappell’s <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/cricket/icc-world-cup-2015/when-trevor-chappell-rolled-the-ball-down-the-pitch-to-brian-mckechnie-he-did-the-kiwis-a-favour/news-story/9e6cdec155f23674f3abf0629a96abaa">underarm bowl</a> is one of the most infamous Australian examples, still remembered over 40 years later.</p> <p>Bairstow’s dismissal is the most recent controversy and unlikely to be the last.</p> <p>As the Australian team heads to Leeds for the third Test starting on Thursday, there are concerns tensions could boil over, on and off the field. Leeds is known for its raucous atmosphere. Cricket Australia has <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-news-live-rba-interest-rates-joko-widodo-pwc-scandal-20230704-p5dlpf.html?post=p54ztv">increased security</a> for the Australian team and reportedly told players to remain <a href="https://au.sports.yahoo.com/cricket-ashes-jonny-bairstow-stumping-controversy-exposes-worrying-aussie-truth-014432845.html">extra vigilant</a> when dining out in restaurants during the remaining weeks of the Ashes.</p> <p>We may never get complete agreement on the “spirit of cricket” and whether the Australians breached it on this occasion. Perhaps the closest we can get is to agree with former Australian bowler and Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie, who <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-12256795/Mail-Sports-experts-weigh-controversial-stumping-Englands-second-Test-defeat.html">believes</a> that "by playing within the laws of the game you are playing within the spirit of the game."</p> <p>Let’s hope the remainder of the series sees a cooling of tensions and more focus on the last three Tests being <a href="https://www.lords.org/mcc/the-laws-of-cricket/preamble-to-the-laws-spirit-of-cricket">played hard but fair</a>, without reigniting “spirit of cricket” debates that no one wins.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/209124/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vaughan-cruickshank-396715">Vaughan Cruickshank</a>, Program Director – Health and Physical Education, Maths/Science, Faculty of Education, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-the-difference-between-the-laws-of-cricket-and-the-spirit-of-cricket-209124">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why can’t I use my phone or take photos on the airport tarmac? Is it against the law?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Mobile phones are not allowed to be used while on a plane because they can interfere with the aeroplane’s navigation instruments and <a href="https://theconversation.com/heres-the-real-reason-to-turn-on-aeroplane-mode-when-you-fly-188585">cause various safety and social issues</a>.</p> <p>As soon as the plane lands, we’re permitted to turn off flight mode, but at some airports we can’t get much of a signal. That’s because airports are known as mobile signal “<a href="https://thepointsguy.com/news/slow-connection-airport-tarmacs/">dead zones</a>” due to a lack of mobile towers – they can’t be placed at the airport itself due to height restrictions.</p> <p>Any nearby mobile towers would be located away from the airport’s runway systems to avoid interfering with the aeroplane’s flight path, especially take-off and landing direction. Most airports put up indoor repeater antennas within the airport terminal; these help increase the mobile signal strength coming from the nearest mobile tower somewhere near the airport.</p> <p>But you won’t be allowed to make calls while walking away from the plane, anyway.</p> <h2>Why can’t I use my phone on the tarmac?</h2> <p>As we are taxiing in, the <a href="https://www.qantas.com/au/en/qantas-experience/onboard/communication.html">cabin crew</a> remind us not to smoke outside of designated areas at the terminal and not to use our mobile phones until we are inside the terminal building.</p> <p>If you exit the plane down the rear stairs, why aren’t you allowed to use your phone once away from the aeroplane, if you can get a signal? Surely it won’t affect navigation.</p> <p>The answer is manifold, and regulations aren’t the same across the world.</p> <p>In Australia, a <a href="https://www.casa.gov.au/operations-safety-and-travel/travel-and-passengers/onboard-safety-and-behaviour/using-your-electronic-devices-flights">government regulation</a> prohibits the use of mobile phones on the tarmac – the aeroplane movement and parking area of the airport.</p> <p>You won’t be fined if you whip your phone out while walking to the terminal, but the airline may admonish you for not following the rules. However, if you decide to (<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/woman-arrested-after-running-onto-tarmac-at-melbourne-airport-20151125-gl7bkq.html">run around on the tarmac</a>, you could get arrested by federal police.</p> <p>The airport tarmac is very busy not just with aircraft, but also baggage carts, catering trucks, aeroplane waste removal trucks, and fuel trucks. Getting passengers off the tarmac and into the terminal building quickly and safely is a priority for the staff.</p> <p>If you are distracted while walking to the terminal building because you’re talking on your phone, it can be <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/25/alabama-airport-worker-killed-jet-engine-safety-warnings">highly dangerous and even deadly</a> if you end up too close to an operating plane. An operating jet engine is extremely hot and has a strong exhaust. Additionally, the front of the engine has a low-pressure area called an <a href="https://www.ukfrs.com/guidance/search/aircraft-systems-and-construction">ingestion zone</a> that can suck in a person. Ground staff are trained to stay at least ten metres away from this area. However, this information is not shared with the passengers.</p> <h2>A myth about fuel</h2> <p>You may have heard that mobile phones are a fire hazard near fuel, and aeroplanes are, of course, refuelled on the tarmac.</p> <p>However, the chances of fuel catching fire during this process are extremely low, because the refuelling truck is <a href="https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/safe-aircraft-refuelling/">bonded and “grounded” to the plane</a>: the operator attaches a wire to the aircraft to move built-up static electricity to the ground to prevent any chance of a spark.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>There have been stories in the press about mobile phones sparking <a href="https://www.verizon.com/about/news/vzw/2014/12/fact-or-fiction-using-a-cell-phone-at-the-gas-station-can-cause-a-fire">fires at petrol stations in Indonesia and Australia</a>, but these turned out to be inaccurate. There is <a href="https://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/AboutTheCodes/30A/FI%20-%20NFPA%2030A-2015%20Para%208.3.1%20-%20Attachments%2014-19.2017-04-04.pdf">no evidence a phone can spark a fire at a fuel pump</a>, despite the warning labels you might see.</p> <p>Either way, the chances of a mobile phone causing this on the tarmac with a refuelling truck that is grounded to the aeroplane are extremely low, not least because the passenger permitted areas and refuelling areas are completely separated.</p> <h2>Why are we told not to take photos on the tarmac?</h2> <p>This rule varies from airport to airport depending on their <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions/can-i-film-and-take-photos-security-checkpoint">security processes</a>.</p> <p>Such restrictions are carryovers from the changes to airport security following the <a href="https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/jlecono50&amp;i=739">September 11 2001 terrorist attacks</a>. The now federalised security teams, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in the United States and the Department of Home Affairs in Australia, change their processes frequently to prevent having any identifiable patterns that could be used to create a security breach.</p> <p>The increased security measures also mean new technologies were introduced; airport security sections do not want photos taken of how they operate.</p> <p>The airport security process is a major choke point in the flow of passenger movement due to the screening process. If a passenger is perceived to be slowing the process down by taking photos or talking on their phone, they will be reminded to turn off their device and/or stop taking photos of security personnel and equipment.</p> <p>If you refuse to follow the rules of the screening process, you will be <a href="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening">denied entry</a> into the airport terminal gate area and miss your flight. Can you also get arrested for using your phone? Depends on the airport and country. I, for one, do not want to find out.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/207926/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, Professor/Head of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-cant-i-use-my-phone-or-take-photos-on-the-airport-tarmac-is-it-against-the-law-207926">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Wacky pet laws that will make you laugh

<p>There are laws to protect people from harm, animals from cruelty and to keep the animal-human relationship harmonious. But then there are those wacky laws that will make you scratch your head and wonder how they became laws in the first place.</p> <p>1. In some areas of Oklahoma dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property.</p> <p>2. In Chicago, you cannot bring your French poodle to the opera.</p> <p>3. In Berea, Ohio, any pet that goes out after dark must wear a tail light.</p> <p>4. In Creskill, New York, all outside cats must wear three bells to warn birds of their approach.</p> <p>5. In Madison, Wisconsin dogs are forbidden from harassing squirrels in the public park next to the capital.</p> <p>6. In Denver Colorado an animal control officer must notify dogs of any impending impounds three days before it’s due to happen. They do this by posting notices on trees in the public parks and along the road running next to the park.</p> <p>7. In Memphis, Tennessee, if a frog's croaking keeps you awake at night, you can have that frog arrested.</p> <p>8. In Turin, Italy owners can be fined up to $650 for not walking their dog at least three times a day.</p> <p>9. In Reed City, Michigan, you cannot own a pet cat and bird simultaneously. </p> <p>10. In French Lick Springs, Indiana, all black cats must wear bells on Friday the 13th.</p> <p>11. In certain areas of Oklahoma it is against the law to make “ugly” or “mean” faces at a dog.</p> <p>12. In Honolulu, Hawaii, it’s unlawful to annoy birds at any public park. </p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Advice on dealing with tricky in-laws

<p>From heated discussions to awkward family dinners, your relationship with your in-laws can have a big impact on family time. Here’s how to navigate this sometimes tricky dynamic.</p> <p>There’s nothing worse than heading to a family engagement when you have a son-in-law (or your daughter’s parents-in-law) that you just don’t get along with. Whether there's been a fight that you haven’t been able to move on from, or you simply don’t get along, if you find your in-laws draining or annoying, you may need to change the boundaries.</p> <p>Do you know the old saying, “good fences make good neighbours”? Think of your in-laws like your neighbours – there needs to be really good fences (aka boundaries) in place for the relationship to run smoothly. The best way to go about this is in such a way that you don’t make anyone feel as though you're closing them out, but rather comes off that you are simply focussing on yourself and things you have going on.</p> <p>Once you’ve set boundaries, don’t be afraid to talk to your family and in-laws about them, they’re not as fragile as you think. But do choose your words carefully and keep the focus on you and what your needs are, rather than making any judgements or comments about them or their behaviour.</p> <p>Still not sure how to deal with your son, daughter, sister or brother in-law? Here are some top tips for setting boundaries and dealing with awkward situations:</p> <ol> <li>The person with the primary relationship (for example your daughter, not your son-in-law) should be the one to step in and help fix a problem if it arises. You should never be the messenger or go straight to an in-law. Gently raise the issue or concern with your immediate family member. </li> <li>Decide with your partner, or in your own time if you are single or widowed, what type of role you want your in-law/s to play in your life. If you don’t get along and spending time with them just seems to cause issues, then you might want to limit catch-ups to birthdays and big events. This is ok. Just be gentle if asked to explain. And keep your explanation brief and about you. Something along the lines of, my schedule is quite busy at the moment or I don’t feel up to going out too much, but I am looking forward to the next family get together. </li> <li>Never criticise your family for their relationship with his or her spouse/your in-laws, nor comment on your in-law to your immediate family member – for example don’t criticise your son-in-law to your daughter/his wife. This tends to only lead to complications and awkwardness. And remember, you only know what your daughter tells you and if they come to you everytime they’re upset or angry with their partner or their partner’s extended family, you’re only hearing the problems when your daughter is frustrated and upset. You might not hear all the good things and about when they make up. Don’t take these things on board and stay out of it by reserving any judgement or comments. </li> <li>Don’t get involved. Easier said than done, right? You have to trust that you have brought your children up right and they are responsible enough to navigate their own relationships, treat others respectfully and can stand up for themselves if need be. As such, you should not get involved in their issues, arguments and general day-to-day dealings with their other relationships. Stay on the peripheral, be there for some light guidance if need be, but ultimately you should just help them come to their own opinions, decisions and judgements on things rather than sharing your ones with them. </li> <li>Don’t get pulled into arguments by your child and in-law. You can be supportive and still let the couple handle their own problems. Take a step back and trust that you have raised an adult who has the vision and the courage to resolve the problems that concern his/her own family. Couples need to set boundaries for their own relationships and this can, as I am sure you know, take some time to find the right ones. </li> <li>Think of yourself as a guest. When spending time with family in big groups, and especially when you’re at someone else’s home, it is best to think of yourself as a guest and act accordingly. For example you may not like the way you son’s wife is doing things in her home (child rearing, cooking, cleaning etc), but unfortunately it is not really any of your business. This is between your son and his wife. A good checkpoint is to ask yourself if you have a sense of entitlement and expectancy that is inappropriate. If there are issues that you just can’t stand but can’t let go, then you may need to consider not visiting them.</li> </ol> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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A win for the press, a big loss for Ben Roberts-Smith: what does this judgment tell us about defamation law?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rolph-118815">David Rolph</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>At the heart of the spectacular defamation trial brought by decorated Australian soldier Ben Roberts-Smith were two key questions.</p> <p>Had the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times damaged his reputation when they published in 2018 a series of explosive stories accusing him of murder and other crimes while in Afghanistan?</p> <p>And could the newspapers successfully defend their reporting as true?</p> <p>Today, in Sydney, Federal Court Justice Anthony Besanko found the newspapers were indeed able to establish the “substantial truth” of key allegations around killing of unarmed Afghan male prisoners.</p> <p>An <a href="https://twitter.com/Kate_McClymont/status/1664130451869663232">appeal</a> may still be on the cards, but this is a high-profile loss for a very prominent person. The costs will be substantial. The usual rule is that the losing party pays their own costs and those of the winning party.</p> <p>So, even though people say defamation law in Australia has a reputation for favouring plaintiffs, this case shows even plaintiffs do sometimes lose defamation cases in Australia.</p> <p>More broadly, this case shows how hard it is to use defamation law to repair any perceived damage to your reputation. Once a case begins, you never can control what will be said in court.</p> <h2>What was this case about?</h2> <p>The case centred on several defamatory meanings (or, as they’re known in defamation law, “<a href="https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/online-files/ben-roberts-smith">imputations</a>”) that Roberts-Smith said the papers had made against him.</p> <p>Among these were that he’d <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/110-days-41-witnesses-and-15-key-questions-to-answer-what-the-ben-roberts-smith-case-was-about-20230209-p5cjdp.html">killed</a> unarmed Afghan male prisoners and ordered junior soldiers to execute others in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2012.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith denied wrongdoing, but the newspapers had pleaded a defence of truth. That means to win this case, they needed to prove the meanings conveyed by their reporting – even if those meanings were unintended – were true.</p> <p>Besanko, reading a summary judgment today, said the newspapers were able to establish the substantial truth of some of the most serious imputations in the case.</p> <p>For other imputations, Besanko found the newspapers were able to establish “contextual truth”.</p> <p>Substantial truth means what is sounds like – that the allegation published was, in substance, true. Defamation law does not require strict, complete or absolute accuracy. Minor or inconsequential errors of detail are irrelevant. What matters is: has the publisher established what they published was, in substance, true?</p> <p>Contextual truth is a fallback defence. The court has to weigh what has been found to be true against what has been found to be unproven. If the true statements about the plaintiff were worse than the unproven statements, then the plaintiff’s reputation was not overall damaged by the unproven statements, and the publisher has a complete defence.</p> <p>In other words, Besanko found most of the imputations to be true. And, when considered against those which were not proven to be true, the remaining unproven imputations did not damage Roberts-Smith’s reputation.</p> <h2>What does this case tell us about defamation in Australia?</h2> <p>The court heard several explosive claims during the course of this trial, including that evidence on USB sticks had been put into a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/13/court-hears-ben-roberts-smiths-ex-wife-dug-up-usb-sticks-from-family-backyard">lunchbox and buried</a> in a backyard and that Roberts-Smith had allegedly <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/may/13/woman-who-says-ben-roberts-smith-punched-her-sustained-an-injury-in-a-fall-earlier-on-same-night-defamation-trial-hears">punched a woman</a> in their hotel room.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith said he didn’t bury the USBs or withhold information from a war crimes inquiry and denied that he had punched the woman.</p> <p>But the fact this widely scrutinised case yielded such astonishing testimony, day in and day out, shows how risky it is to use defamation law to restore perceived injury to one’s reputation.</p> <p>Defamation law is seeking to correct people’s views about the plaintiff. But it’s open to doubt that defamation law is actually any good at securing its own stated purpose of changing people’s minds about the plaintiff.</p> <p>The problem is the law is a very blunt instrument. It’s very hard to get people to change their minds about what they think of you.</p> <p>All litigation involves risk and defamation trials are even riskier. You never can control what can come out in court, as this litigation demonstrates so clearly.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith has sued to protect his reputation, but in doing so, a range of adverse things have been said in court. And whatever is said in court is covered by the defence of absolute privilege; you can’t sue for defamation for anything said in court that is reported accurately and fairly.</p> <h2>The 2021 defamation law reforms</h2> <p>The law that applies in the Roberts-Smith case is the defamation law we had before major reforms introduced in July 2021 across most of Australia.</p> <p>These reforms introduced a new defence known as the public interest defence. To use this defence, a publisher has to demonstrate that they reasonably believed the matter covered in their published material is in the public interest.</p> <p>As this defence didn’t exist prior to 2021, the publishers in the Roberts-Smith case used the defence of truth.</p> <p>If a case like this were litigated today following these reforms, it is highly likely the publisher would use the new public interest defence.</p> <p>Given the <a href="https://theconversation.com/lachlan-murdoch-could-well-have-won-his-crikey-lawsuit-so-why-did-he-drop-it-204279">Murdoch versus Crikey</a> case was settled, we may yet wait some time to see what’s required to satisfy the public interest test in a defamation case.</p> <p>But as today’s decision demonstrates, sometimes the truth alone will prevail.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/206759/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rolph-118815">David Rolph</a>, Professor of Law, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-win-for-the-press-a-big-loss-for-ben-roberts-smith-what-does-this-judgment-tell-us-about-defamation-law-206759">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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