29 Oct 2014

Last chance for Slater to prepare case

7:12 pm on 29 October 2014

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater has been given a third and final chance to prepare his defence in a privacy case.

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

Blogger Cameron Slater. Photo: Supplied

Mr Slater denies breaching the privacy of a former Hell's Pizza executive, Matt Blomfield, by posting 46 of the businessman's personal documents online.

They included a video of Mr Blomfield at a gym and emails between him and his business partners.

Cameron Slater argues that he is not subject to the Privacy Act because a High Court judgment ruled that he is a member of the media and told the Human Rights Review Tribunal today that each document posted was accompanied by a news article.

Mr Slater told the tribunal he would rely on the judgement by Justice Asher which determined that Whale Oil was a news medium and so had some legal protection.

The blogger added that he was quoted in mainstream media and had received media awards. He told the tribunal it would be a legal farce to ingore that and he was willing to wear the tribunal's decision because the court of public opinion would back him.

But the chair of the tribunal, Rodger Haines, said Cameron Slater had called no evidence and this was the first the tribunal had heard of the news articles.

He adjourned the hearing to allow Mr Slater to file an affidavit with his evidence, but warned him that it was his third and final chance.

Mr Haines said Mr Slater had missed two deadlines for submissions in the lead-up to the hearing.

The Director of Human Rights Proceedings asked the tribunal to order that Mr Slater pay $50,000 in damages to Mr Blomfield.

The director's lawyer, Simon Judd, told tribunal today that Mr Slater should also be ordered to attend a workshop on privacy.

The hearing will reconvene next year.

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