The Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic) (‘OC Act’) came into force on 1 December 2013. It was introduced to ‘strengthen and promote open justice’ in Victoria following ongoing concerns that the use of suppression orders by the courts in that state was placing the fundamental principle of open justice into jeopardy. The media, in particular, claimed that too many suppression orders were being made in Victoria compared to other jurisdictions in Australia and that many were imprecise and overly broad in scope and often contained insufficient limitations as to their duration.
But is the Open Courts Act achieving its aims in reducing the number of suppression orders made in the Victorian courts? Has it resulted in improvements in their drafting? This presentation will share the findings of an empirical study of all suppression orders made by the Victorian courts under the new Act in the two years following its commencement.
Jason Bosland is Deputy Director of the Centre for Media and Communications Law at Melbourne Law School, where he teaches communications and intellectual property law.  He holds degrees from the University of Melbourne and the London School of Economics.  His primary research interests lie in media law, including defamation and privacy, open justice and the media, contempt of court and freedom of speech.