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MLRC Media Lawyers Conference

Join media lawyers from Australia, Asia, and the U.S. for a full day of discussion and networking about media law and policy and how media lawyers can strengthen cross-border ties to better defend a free press.

January 29, 2024
Sydney, Australia



Delegates Reception & Dinner in Vaucluse. Hosted by Harry Melkonian.


  • 9:00-9:30
    Registration and light breakfast
    Location: Minter Ellison, Level 40, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney

  • 9:30-10:30
    Impact of the Ben Roberts Smith Case.
    Nick McKenzie – Multi Award winning Investigative Journalist and co- author of the Ben Robert-Smith revelations.
    Larina Alick – Executive Counsel, Nine Network, In-House Counsel overseeing the BRS defence.
    Grant McAvaney – Head of Litigation, News Limited.
    Moderator: Peter Bartlett, partner Minter Ellison

  • 10:45-11:45
    Investigative Journalists and the Law: Is Australian law chilling investigative reporting & causing self-censorship?
    Hedley Thomas – Australian investigative journalist and author, who writes and produces podcasts for The Australian.
    Kate McClymont – chief investigative reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.
    Edmund Tadros – professional services editor at The Australian Financial Review.
    Kieran Pender – senior lawyer in the Democratic Freedoms team at the Human Law Centre.
    Moderator: Marlia Saunders – partner, Thomson Geer

  • 12:00-1:00
    Vetting of a Hypothetical News Article: Australian vs. US media law with an international panel of discussants.
    Moderator: George Freeman, MLRC Executive Director

  • 1:00-2:30
    Lunch with speaker: Trump Trials and Free Speech.
    With Harry Melkonian, Melkonian & Co.

  • 2:30-3:30
    Press Freedom in Asia
    Cheng Lei, Australian journalist who was held in Beijing for more than three years.
    H.R. Dipendra, media lawyer Malaysia
    Akarachai Chaimaneekarakate, human rights lawyer Thailand
    Moderator: Michael Cameron, Head of Legal, News Limited.

  • 3:45-4:45
    Australian Judges: Media Law & the Press
    With Judge Judith Gibson, District Court NSW; Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney
    Moderators: Marina Olsen, partner Gadens, and Dauid Sibtain SC, Level 22 Chambers.

  • 5:30-7:30
    Conference Reception at Thomson Geer
    Location: Sixty Martin Place, Level 14, 60 Martin Place, Sydney


  • 8:00-9:30am
    In-house media lawyers breakfast: A meeting for in-house lawyers only to discuss a range of practical issues concerning the provision of pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal advice.
    Location: Theatrette, News Corp Australia, 2 Holt St, Surry Hills 2010

Registration & Location

Conference Supporters
Minter Ellison
Melkonian & Co. • Thomson Geer

News Corp Australia