Ethical Emissaries from the Public Sect[or]


Dr William De Maria

Department of Social Work & Social Policy
The University of Queensland

email: B.DeMaria@GSM.UQ.EDU.AU


Paper presented to: Freedom of the Press Conference,

Bond University, 11 November 1995.

This paper is located on the

Suppression of dissent website

in the section on Documents


There is no doubt about it, secrecy is the high octane fuel that power runs on. But is has its lighter moments. Rudolf Peierls, the eminent German-born nuclear physicist who died last month, once had a very interesting brush with secrecy. A refugee from Nazi Germany, he became professor of mathematical physics at Birmingham University. In wartime Britain the Maud Committee was set up to develop Peierls' atomic theory. But such was the obsession with secrecy that he was initially excluded from Maud Committee membership. Peierls wrote a dignified letter to the committee chairman pointing out the questionable practice of the committee trying to keep his secrets from himself! Red-faced, the Committee invited him to attend future meetings (Australian, 29 September 1995; p. 10).

Given what has been happening in political life in Queensland in the last 25 years, what history will judge as the infamous 1968-95 Bjelke-Petersen/Goss era, it should come as little surprise that we live in one of the most secretive States in the Commonwealth. Just one fact is needed to send this point home. The Federal Government, with its vast range of functions, has about 141 secrecy provisions in statute form. Queensland has 160! (Queensland Law Reform Commission, 1994; Appendices C & E). You could run a South American dictatorship with a lot less! Queensland has been in the business of statutory secrecy longer than any other government in Australia (Queensland Criminal Code; 1884). Successive Queensland administrations have acquired and passed on a powerful expertise in the control of the very protein of democracy; information.

Possessing a deep and understandable suspicion of the expansionist state, the community has placed high priority on the protection of privacy. Successive Queensland administrations, driven by the dynamic of power rather than this communal fear of the state, have exploited our requirement for privacy by moving, in their informational policies, towards the closed society more typical of dictatorship, than western liberal democracies. Whistleblowers perform the absolutely crucial task of exposing secrecy. In their separate struggles to confront the hydra-headed configuration of official misconduct, whistleblowers peer between the venetian blinds into a secret world where power transcends principles; easily, quietly, confidently. This is not the action of voyeurs. This is vox populi, forced off the main table of democracy, to pick up the scraps of information strewn on the floor.

In the time available to me I will not be able to circumnavigate the secret state. I must acknowledge however that even if I had all afternoon, the state's mist-shrouded coastline would still defeat me. All I can do is call in at some ports and hope I can get through the fog. The first "port" I will visit is called Defamation Damnation. Here we will see that the defamation writ, that fearsome silencer honed to menacing perfection during the Bjelke-Peterson era is resurfacing with the Goss administration. The second port is called Public Service or Secret Service? There we will try and observe the furtive and intimidating appearances of secrecy enactments. Onto the third port called The Politization of FOI. Here we see a government so obsessed with staying in power, that it will do anything, even defile the Freedom of Information Act (Qld) to do so. The trip finishes in a port called A Shutter Speed Too Fast: In-Camera Inquiries. Here we look at the worrying trend for crime and corruption fighters such as the National Crime Authority and the Criminal Justice Commission to conduct too many of their activities in the mist away from the harsh sunlight of accountability.

Whistleblowers have to be choreographed into this Kafkaesque world. These people are truly ethical emissaries from secrecy to openness. There are principal witnesses for the prosecution in the longest trial of them all, The People v. Government. Their testimony is of pushing against the rusty hinged window of accountability and suffering extraordinary punishments for doing so. I'll finalize by arguing that for all concerned we have to go beyond the fundamentally flawed whistleblower model of action to what I call the infrastructure of dissent.


Defamation Damnation

In deference to people here today like Peter Applegarth who know a lot more about defamation than I do, I will contain my comments to a very worrying incident that occurred recently in Brisbane. It got some media attention so you may have heard about it. On the 10 August a person affected by compulsory acquisitions for the Springfield Development wrote to the Premier complaining about the behaviour of a public official. She sent copies of her letter of complaint to Rob Borbidge the Leader of the Opposition, and Joan Sheldon, the Liberal leader. The person complained, among other things, that the public official was someone who "...bullies and uses standover tactics to humiliate and degrade...".

As far as I know citizens drawing the attention of their elected representatives to alleged misconduct of public officials is not yet a prohibited practice in Queensland. Be that as it may, 19 days after the letter of complaint was sent, a solicitors demand for apology and retraction arrived in the mail. The person sent an unconditional retraction and apology on 5 September. Three days later the public official's solicitors wrote back saying in effect "not good enough"; the apology and retraction must be on the provided form, and copies of the apology/retraction must be sent to Goss, Borbidge and Sheldon with instructions that it be further conveyed to anyone who sighted the original letter.

Again the person, on 23 September, responds in the way demanded, but sends all copies to the solicitors. Not good enough! Three days later the solicitors write back again insinuating some darker motive to the fact that the copies were sent to them not to the parties nominated. They further advise that the person must fill out a statutory declaration, and that counsel has been briefed. Nothing more happens until 17 October when a plaint claiming $10,592.25 damages for defamation is taken out in the Magistrate Court.

By 21 October the media had picked up the story. The Courier Mail editorial for that day said:

Who would have imagined that complaining about the conduct of a public servant to an appropriate politician, like the Premier, could land one in a defamation case...And this at a time when the High Court has declared that...implied in the Commonwealth Constitution [is] a right of political free speech.

By this time the Transport Minister, Jim Elder, was saying he thought the court was "a bit harsh" and he worried about the long term problems in the relationship between people and government that this dispute could produce.

Elder instructed one of his senior people to sort the matter out. This was code for "do everything that has to be done to kill the issue". Eventually, with a little help from the person's solicitor, the public official was forced to back off and drop his action. The Premier still has not replied to the original letter the person wrote him on 10 August.

In fairness to be public official it may well be that he and his colleagues are caught in the middle. Forced acquisitions are always red hot with emotion. Maybe he just decided, in the pressure of the moment to return fire. The thing of interest to me was whether he acted alone? In not talking about the assistance given to him by his solicitors. I'm speculating whether he understood from his workplace culture that his action would be tacitly supported; encouraged even. I contacted the official concerned on Melbourne Cup day but he refused to comment, so I'm still at the speculation stage. However I have got a real strong feeling that this was not a one-off strike against a citizen. I have a feeling that an entrenched workplace us-them viewpoint still exists which sees citizens who speak out as threats to organized power, and as such any strategies of legalized suppression of fact and view is condoned.


Public Service or Secret Service?

In the words of Paul Finn (now a Federal Court judge), Australia is "...beset with very wide, very pervasive, and very oppressive secrecy laws" (Finn; 1993, p. 61). Finn's example is part farce. He says that at the Commonwealth level the combined effect of regulation 35 of the Public Service Act and Sections 70 and 79 of the Crimes Act virtually makes it a criminal offence for public sector workers to tell us who occupies the room next to them. Section 70, and its equivalent provisions in state Acts, explains to a great extent the subdued, if not the subjugated nature of the people's servants; the public sector.

For at least twenty years high level government reviews have consistently targeted the shut-mouth provision, s.70 of the Crimes Act (Cth)[1]. Criticisms such as the following have constantly been made:

1) s.70 is a general silencing provision. It fails to distinguish between information that could harm the public interest and information that would assist it.

2) The provision does not require the prosecution to prove that disclosure caused or is likely to cause harm to the public interest.

3) s.70 does not require the prosecution to prove that the discloser knew he or she was in breach of duty.

4) No defence is available that the officer believed that they had a disclosure duty, or that disclosure would not cause any detriment to the public interest.

5) s.70 does not permit the raising of a public interest defence (Tsaknis; 1994, pp. 257-258).

In appealing for reform of secrecy provisions Tsaknis has recently made a very valid point:

The 1970's and 1980's witnessed significant...developments that had the effect of significantly lessening the presumption which hitherto existed that government information was prima facie secret. The continuing blanket prohibition or disclosure imposed by the general secrecy provisions runs counter to these reforms. In particular, it runs counter to the policy underlying the Freedom of Information Act which was designed to provide the public with a general right of access to government documents (Tsaknis; 1994, p. 270).

Tsaknis believes this has led to an incongruous situation whereby:

...[public sector] officers as members of the public are entitled to access information...but ...., as officials, they may not disclose that information to the public (Tsaknis; 1994, p. 270).


Secrecy's shell-backed tradition of being part of the weaponry of government power and survival, continues to be hard to crack. Reformist expectations were raised however when the Gibb's Committee, in its Final Report, come down heavily against constraint of information. Unfortunately, in the eyes of some commentators, Gibbs made a big slip between the theory "lip" and the practice "cup", by using the much criticized Official Secrets Act 1989 (UK) (Griffith; 1993) as a model of reform. By so doing, these commentators believe that Gibbs has indicated that the road to secrecy reform is indeed a long one (Carne; 1993).

It has been said that the 1989 "reforms" to the Official Secrets Act were part of the governments' agenda of damage control not secrecy reform. In a series of highly publicized judicial defeats in the 1980's, the British Government found that the draconian Official Secrets Act 1911 (UK), which had faithfully served the interests of closed government for so long, was developing cracks'. A number of these defeats came about by the British Government trying to attack and punish whistleblowers, most notably Clive Ponting (Thomas; 1986). There were other matters to such as the government's failure to suppress a film which documented illegal defence spending on electronic surveillance research (the Zilcon Affair) and of course the unsuccessful attempt to stop the publication of Spycatcher (Carne; 1993, p. 13).

Thus recent attempts to reform the culture of secrecy has, according to Carne and others, been a failure;

The [Gibbs] report fails to articulate a detailed and balanced view of the role of the public interest in a functioning and participatory modern democracy. It confuses all too readily the need for secrecy in a few areas of administration with the desire of politicians and bureaucrats to shield their activities from public scrutiny...The underlying message of the report as one of strengthening the hand of government in managing and controlling that information.

Enactment of the Recommendations would have a chilling effect upon the quality of Australian democracy. Most particularly, it would curtail the level and quality of debate, analysis and accountability of government in the media. The threat of more easily conducted prosecutions or more readily obtainable injunctions would engender caution and self-censorship in publication, ever where there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing...the report is fundamentally retrograde in its approach to public accountability...The report fails to establish any convincing rationale from a senses of quite draconian proposals concerned in a legal environment both characterized by and ridiculed for its obsession with official secrecy (Carne; 1993, p. 24) (my emphasis).


The Politicization of the FOI Act

Dean Wells, the previous Minister for Justice, Attorney-General, and Minister for the Arts, showed a hidden talent for sarcasm when he said:

The enactment of Freedom of Information legislation has been one of this Government's proudest reforms. (Wells; 1993)

The artist who designs the covers for FOI Annual Reports in Queensland continues that talent by inserting a keyhole into a map of Queensland, thereby inviting us to celebrate the unlocking of public affairs. Sadly, the performance of FOI allows us to conclude that the key in the map of Queensland turns to the right to lock, not to the left to unlock. Between 19th November 1992 - 24th June 1994, 12,654 FOI applications were made. Of these, 61% were granted in full. New figures soon to be released will show that the grant in full rate has dropped further to 58.4%. As it stands these success rates are nothing to shout about. However even these rates are deceptive, boosted up artificially by high success rates on applications for the release of non-contentious personal information from volume-agencies like DEVETIR (88%) and the Government Superannuation Office (82%). Other agencies in 1993-94 recorded much lower acceptance in full rates:


 93/94 94/95 
39 38 Department of Family Services and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs
40 34 Queensland Police Service
37 36 Queensland Corrective Services Commission
22 29 Queensland Criminal Justice Commission
54 23 Treasury
0 33 Office of Cabinet
Source: Official FOI Statistics 1993/5 [2]

The refusal in full rate for 1992-1994 was 7.3%. New figures for 1994-95 will show the refusal in full rate is now 10.5%.

Notwithstanding the dedicated conduct of many FOI officials these low acceptance rates are the real measure of FOI performance. The FOI Act, with its 15 steel-exemptions in Division 2 makes it another government secrecy statute with qualified access to information that is personal to the applicant and will not threaten established political and economic interests. The Act doesn't even apply to some very powerful authorities who play central roles in Queensland public life. Suncorp and the QIDC come to mind here. In the government's mind there appears to be no public interest in the way these powerful corporations conduct their affairs. Indeed certain State authorities (such as various grain boards) continue to lobby to be put on the s.11 exclusion list, well out of the reach of the FOI Act (Gilbert; 1993, p. 99). In 1994-95 as a result of changes to electricity legislation, the 5 generating boards[3] were reclassified as "government owned corporations". This reclassification as business enterprises qualified these Boards to go onto the FOI exclusion schedule. This means that no citizen can access non-personal information under FOI from them. Here we have another cunning way to eat the centre out of FOI leaving a shell of rhetoric and promise. As the Goss Government once again turns its hearing-aid off from the sound of protest about corporatising the public sector, more and more agencies will be allowed to enter the FOI non-interference zone.

One day some smart Ph.D. student is going to write a history of the Queensland FOI Act, and its going to be called From the Stallion of Promise to the Gelding of Practice. In this history there will no doubt be chapters on the sordid Cabinet document affair. The Goss Government's obsession with staying in power at all costs required a further attack on the FOI Act, for its potential to pipe government information out to the people via savvy journalists and responsible Opposition members. This attack, which left a number of senior bureaucrats deeply troubled, has got to be one of the most spiteful political machinations in recent times.

In a bid to atomise grievances about the lack of mechanisms in Queensland's unicameral system for the review of policy prior to passage into law, the Goss Government allowed for the first time in 1993 for the Opposition to question portfolio ministers prior to budget setting. The Opposition Shadow Cabinet drooled at the massive amount of back-up material that accompanied ministers to these highly politicized and worthless meetings. Naturally they sought access and naturally the government demonized their actions as political opportunism. The solution...? Give all sensitive (or at any rate Opposition-helpful information) Cabinet or Executive Council status, thereby still-borning relevant requests for access. On Tuesday night, 21 March 1995, the Government suspended standing orders and rammed through amendments to its FOI Act. In part this allowed for material to be given FOI exemption as Cabinet or Executive Council documents even when there is no objectively demonstrable intention to use these documents in Cabinet or Executive Council discussion. The previous law did not allow scientific material (eg. research related to the impact of the governments first-term conservation program) to be exempted from FOI discovering simply because it was considered by Cabinet. The amendments remove this exemption. The amendments also prevent the courts or the Information Commissioner from examining the merits of a government submission for such exemption. All that is required is a ministerial certificate stating that a document is Cabinet material. This is the government by the way, that when in Opposition, with the smell of electoral victory in their nostrils, were demanding the Coalition government to provide Cabinet material to the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

In introducing the FOI amendments, the Attorney-General offered a new twist to the definition of "submit" [as in submit to Cabinet]. In future a document only needs to be brought within physical proximity of the forum where a Cabinet discussion is taking place to render it exempt. This means that a ministerial secretary can throw a bundle of sensitive documents into the back of his or her car and take them for a drive to a provincial city where a Cabinet meeting is to happen. The mere physical proximity of the material is enough for a ministerial certificate to be signed to defeat public interest discovery. In 1994-95 the Cabinet exemption provisions [S.36(i)] were invoked 22,739 times![4] To put this in context, access to information was blocked 211,068 times in 1994-95, through FOI officers and their internal reviewers invoking various exemptions in the Act.

The story gets even more sinister when we look at the Executive Council. By a quirk of public administration, the Executive Council deals with a mass of material, routine and substantive. All this is effectively bar to the citizen now, particularly if it is kept out of the Gazette, if the government presses the exempt button.

In a postscript to this there exists a marvellous irony. The government that will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the curtain closed behind its activities is the same government that likes to sell information. The corporate sector has been invited to pay $400 a seat to hear the Premier, Treasurer, and senior officials spell out the government's strategic plan with respect to its proposed $15 billion infrastructure development. This info-fest for the rich will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre in 2 weeks time.


A Shutter Speed Too Fast: In-Camera Inquiries

The public spirited citizen is told no, more often than yes, when he or she tries to access sensitive, government information. The same story prevails when they try and access government non-personal inquiries. As someone who has been evicted from a CJC inquiry on the grounds that its deliberations were secret, I know what I'm talking about here.

When the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority held hearings in 1991 to evaluate the NCA, a number of Queensland politicians and senior officials gave evidence, and insodoing couldn't resist grandstanding on the issue of official openness in Queensland, as Labor settled into its first term.

Peter Beattie, when Chairman of the Queensland Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee told the NCA Joint Committee:

Unlike the NCA, the CJC has the opportunity of public hearings of its own and has done them. That to me seems to be one of the reasons why the NCA has been so unpopular...(Beattie; 1991, p. 1120).

What Beattie did not know or wasn't telling, was the high rate of CJC closed inquiries that were patterning out then. Certainly by 1994 the pattern was clear. From its inception in its present form (22 April 1990) until 12 August 1994, the CJC conducted 160 hearings. Only ten of these were public. This represents 417 private sitting days and 210 public sitting days (Criminal Justice Commission; 1994, p. 57).

From 1 August 1994 to 31 October 1995 the CJC has conducted a further 41 hearings, 38 of which were in-camera (Criminal Justice Commission; 1995). From an open:closed ratio of 1:15 up to August 1994, to a ratio of 1:13 at the present! Its good to see the CJC improving so dramatically! This is rather interesting considering that the Act which regulates the CJC [(Criminal Justice Act 1989 (Qld)] imposes a prima facie obligation in the Commission to hold open hearings. Rather than crowing about its open hearing record vis a vis the NCA, it would have been more proper to compare the CJC with its opposite member in New South Wales, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). In 1989/90 for example, ICAC conducted 265 hearing days of which 235 were held in public (Kerr; 1991, p. 6). ICAC has a section in its regulating act similar to the one in the act which regulates the CJC. ICAC is also required to hold public hearings. Somehow ICAC policy makers treat this stipulation with more seriousness than their opposite numbers at the CJC.

There's got to be a better way of conducting inquiries. Every time the inquiry door closes on the public we have no other recourse than to cross our fingers and hope that the public interest will survive behind the wood panelling.


From Whistleblowing to the Infrastructure of Dissent

From our study into Queensland whistleblowers we know that most people in the workplace won't report wrongdoing. We also know that most whistleblower disclosures fail to crack the shell of misconduct (De Maria; 1994, De Maria & Jan; 1994). What succeeds however are reprisals. For their public-spirited actions whistleblowers are shot out of the sky. That's probably not the best way of putting it. Most reprisals are in cloaked form. They are very subtle and ambiguous. When halted for inspection the reprisals can usually look like something else (eg. transfer because of incompetence).

When we look at the moral, psychological and physical devastation that is caused when employees of conscience speak out, and when we note that disclosures tend to lead to "bad-apple" rather than "bad-barrel" corrections we must ask ourselves is there a better dissenting model around than whistleblowing?

In a paper published recently I spoke of the need to avoid "sterilizing the lone crusader" (De Maria; 1992, pp. 248-261). By that I meant we have to develop a model of community and workplacing dissenting that is a match for the power behind wrongdoing, and which does not depend on the current generation of investigatory agencies. I call this model the infrastructure of dissent. In it there would be:

(i) whistleblowing as a class action

(ii) development of more public interest lobbies

(iii) full defamation immunity for public interest dissenters

(iv) incorporating "speak-out" clauses in codes of ethics

(v) repeal of secrecy enactments

(vi) extensions of FOI into the private sector

(vii) dissenter support networks

(viii) dissenter training programs



1. s.70 (1) A person who, being a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, except to some person to whom he is authorized to publish or communicate it, any fact or document which comes to his knowledge, or into his possession, by virtue of having being a Commonwealth officer, and which it is his duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person who, having been a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, without lawful authority or excuse (proof whereof shall be upon him), any fact or document which came to his knowledge, or into his possession, by virtue of having been a Commonwealth officer, it was his duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.

2. If documents, rather than applications are considered, the acceptance rate increases.

3. Far North Queensland Electricity Board; North Queensland Electricity Board; Capricornia Electricity Board; Wide Bay-Burrett Electricity Board; South East Queensland Electricity Board.

4. S36(i)Number of Times Exemption Invoked

(a) Document exempt because submitted to Cabinet: 7772

(b) Document exempt because prepared for submission to Cabinet or proposed by Minister to be submitted: 1865

(c) Document is exempted because it was prepared for Ministerial\CEO briefing in relation to a Cabinet submission: 765

(d) Document is exempt because it forms part of the record of Cabinet: 4668

(e) Document is exempt as disclosure would prejudice the confidentiality of Cabinet: 5406

(f) Document is exempt because it is a draft of (a-e): 1298

(g) Document is exempt because it is a copy of (a-f): 965

The figure of 22739 times the cabinet exemptions were invoked was generated from about 8,000 documents. For example a 300 page Cabinet document would usually attract one Cabinet exemption decision but because FOI statistics are very detailed, the decision maker exempts each page, by invoking the particular exemption 300 times.



Australian (1995), 29 September 1995. This is re-published information from a Times obituary.

Beattie, P. (1991), Evidence to Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, Who Is To Guard The Guards?, Canberra. Other officials have made similar comments. For example, Sir Max Bingham, previous CJC Chairman has said,

"...the fact that our hearings are substantially in public - that the net of secrecy is drawing over only the smallest part of our functions..have tended to help us to avoid te criticism that has been levelled at the National Crime Authority." (Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee, Minutes of Evidence, May 1991, p. 10.

Carne, G. (1993), "Official Secrets and the Gibbs Report: A Charter for Reform or a Tug of the Legal Forelock?" University of Tasmania Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 1.

Criminal Justice Commission (1994), Submissions to Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee, The Three Yearly Review of the Criminal Justice Commission, Vol. 2.

Criminal Justice Commission (1995), Advise to author, 2 November 1995.

De Maria, W. (1992), "The Queensland Whistleblowers Sterilising the Lone Crusader", Australian Journal of Social Issues, 27:4, November.

De Maria, W. (1994), Unshielding the Shadow Culture, Queensland Whistleblower Study, Department of Social Work & Social Policy, The University of Queensland, Result Release I, April.

De Maria, W. & Jan, C. (1994), Wounded Workers, Queensland Whistleblower Study, Department of Social Work & Social Policy, The University of Queensland, Result Release II, August.

Finn, P. (1993), Evidence to the Senate Select Committee on Public Interest Whistleblowing, 29 November, Canberra.

Gilbert, C. (1993), "Government Confidentiality and Freedom of Information", paper delivered to Conference on the Unlawful Release of Government Information, jointly organized by CJC and Royal Institute of Public Administration (Qld Branch), September.

Griffith, J. (1993), Judicial Politics Since 1920, Blackwell: London. Solid, libertarian-based critiques of the Official Secrets Act 1989 (UK) abound. See also Griffith, J. (1989) "The Official Secrets Act 1989", Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 16; Palmer, S. (1990), "Tightening Secrecy Law: The Official Secrets Act 1989", Public Law.

Kerr, M. (1991), Evidence to Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, Who Is To Guard the Guards?, Canberra.

Queensland Law Reform Commission (1994) The Freedom of Information Act 1992 Review of Secrecy Provision Exemption, Report No. 46, March. On 18 December 1991 the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) received a reference from Paul Braddy, then Acting Attorney-General. The reference sought advice as to which secrecy provisions should be retained and which should be repealed. In order to provide the advice QLRC undertook a survey of secrecy provisions within Queensland law.

Queensland Criminal Code (1884), Queensland had the first Criminal Code in Australia. Section 86 of that code served as a model secrecy provision. For example s.70 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act was taken from the Queensland Code. See House of Representatives, Hansard, 1914, Vol. 75, p. 265. See also J. Spender, Keynote Address, Selling Trade Secrets, Proceedings of a Conference on the Unlawful Release of Government Information, Criminal Justice Commission, September 1993, p. 22.

Thomas, R. (1986), "The British Official Secrets Act 1911-1939 and the Ponting Case", Criminal Law Reports. Ponting was charged under s.2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 (UK) for having communicated to a member of parliament information regarding the allegedly illegal sinking of the Argentinian warship General Belgrano during the Falklands War. Despite a judicial direction from the trial judge hostile to Ponting's case, the jury refused to convict him. See also Ponting's own story. The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the Belgrano Affair, London: Sphere Books.

Tsaknis, L. (1994), "The Commonwealth Secrecy Provisions: Time for Reform?" Criminal Law Journal, Vol. 18. See also Discussion Paper No. 20, Disclosure of Confidential Information, (Gibbs: Chairman) Attorney-Generals Department, Canberra, 1988). Other inquiries which have criticized secrecy enactments include: Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, Fourth Report, Vol. 2 (AGPS, Canberra, 1977); Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Report, The Freedom of Information Bill 1978 (AGPS, Canberra, 1979); Human Rights Commissions, Review of the Crimes Act 1914 and Other Crimes Legislation (AGPS, Canberra, 1983); Discussion Paper No. 17, Review of Part VII of the Crimes Act 1914 (AGPS, Canberra, 1988); Discussion Paper No. 20, Disclosure of Confidential Information (AGPS, Canberra, 1988); Review of the Commonwealth Criminal Law, Final Report (AGPS, Canberra, 1991). These citations are from L. Tsaknis, op. cit., p. 258.

Wells, D. (1993), Letter to Jim Fouras, Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, 19 November.