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The McBride Whistle-blower Trial

With Major David McBride, Lawyer, Writer & Public Speaker

Law Seminar Series - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act)

Thursday 29 February 2024, 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Where: This is an online event

Join us for this unique opportunity to hear the firsthand account of Major David McBride as he explores the theoretical legality of being a whistle-blower. Focusing on the pivotal Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act), McBride delves into the Act's explicit provisions, particularly its consideration of media engagement as a means to facilitate 'public interest disclosure.' Through compelling real-life cases, including that of Tax Office Whistle-blower Richard Boyle, McBride examines the challenges faced by defendants utilising the PID Act as a defense against charges related to public information release. Drawing from his personal experiences, McBride sheds light on limitations imposed by Public Interest Immunity claims, raising critical questions about the government's true commitment to protecting whistle-blowers.

Presentation replay

About the Presenter

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Major David McBride is a military whistle-blower. A former Legal Officer in the Australian Army who deployed twice to Afghanistan after which he made a series of internal complaints about what he believed may have been illegal actions and the cover-up of war crimes by the ADF senior Command. After his internal complaints were ignored, he sought out journalists to take up the story, and eventually provided the ABC’s 730 Report with classified documents which formed the basis of a story that became known as the Afghan Files, which led to a wider questioning of the official narrative of the war, including allegations of systematic war crimes, and sham investigations. As a result of his actions, he was charged with a number of National Security offences. At trial he argued that the oath to Australia included an element of acting in the public interest, even if was contrary to orders. After that submission was rejected by Mossop J, he pleaded guilty to 3 charges under the Crimes Act and Defence Act. He awaits sentencing in March 2024.

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