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Convict Heritage Comes Through in Australia

Convict Heritage Comes Through In Australia

In an article on the abrasive, hard-edged world of Australian journalism, a Christian Science Monitor writer notes that the continent's "convict heritage...also acts to restrict the press. Once a convict was given `ticket of leave,' allowing a new life, the press could no longer refer to the individual as a former convict."

"Any reference to the convict heritage could result in a defamation lawsuit. The laws are very strict. You can't just print something because it is true, you must show that it is in the public interest -- that there is a reason," says Carol Dance, executive director of the Australian Commercial Disputes Center.

Australia's convict heritage refers to the extensive role prisoners sent to the nation from England and Ireland 200 years ago played in settling the island continent.

From: Corrections Compendium

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