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Shooting the messengers

How the Collaery case stains our democracy
The ABR Podcast 07 April 2022

Shooting the messengers

How the Collaery case stains our democracy
The ABR Podcast 07 April 2022

Brain Fog

In an age of disinformation, whistleblowers such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have been accorded the status of folk heroes. And yet, as their respective cases show, no other act of public service is harried as ruthlessly and vindictively by governments whose secrets have been aired.

In this episode of The ABR Podcast, listen to Kieran Pender read his cover feature for the April issue, in which he argues for stronger whistleblower protections by examining the case of Bernard Collaery. A notable Canberra lawyer, Collaery has been charged with breaching the Intelligence Services Act 2001 for allegedly passing on information that implicated the Australian government in spying on Timor-Leste for commercial gain. Since 2018, a tortuous pre-trial battle has been fought over the attorney-general’s right to enshroud the case in secrecy. As Pender shows, the Collaery case cuts to the very heart of Australian democracy.

Kieran Pender, a regular contributor to ABR, is an Australian writer and senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre.

This commentary is generously supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

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