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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "PLPR moves on" [2006] PrivLawPRpr 1; (2006) 11(8) Privacy Law and Policy Reporter 211

PLPR moves on

Graham Greenleaf

With this issue completing volume 11 of PLPR at over 240 pages, we begin a new year and reach another turning point. It is almost twelve years since the first issue of Privacy Law & Policy Reporter in March 1994 opened with ‘High Court confirms privacy right against governments’, a report on the promising case of Johns v ASC, which like so many Australian promises of privacy protection has not amounted to much in succeeding years. One hundred and eight issues later, we believe that PLPR has made a substantial contribution to the protection of privacy in Australia. Our contribution has principally been in publishing critical analyses of the deficiencies of successive waves of proposed (and often aborted) legislation, of ill-advised government schemes to extend the surveillance capacities of its agencies, of missed international opportunities such as the APEC Framework, and of the various degrees of inaction or misdirection of Privacy Commissioners from time to time. Less frequently, but often enough to create hope, there have been positive actions – legislative, administrative, but only rarely judicial - to report and support. PLPR has taken a ‘pro-privacy’ editorial line in the sense of regarding privacy as a value not yet adequately protected in Australian law, while always publishing views critical of privacy protections when available to us. Twelve years of publication with such an approach has given our online archive on AustLII a body of work of permanent relevance to privacy policy and research. Co-incidentally, this last issue of PLPR in its current form co-incides with the announcement of a major two year review of privacy law by the Australian Law Reform Commission (see Private Parts), which provides a good opportunity to use the experience we have reported on since 1994 to help design even better privacy protection.

The continuing relatively low level of professional and business interest in privacy issues in Australia means that PLPR is not going to continue as a commercial publication. We wish to thank CCH Australia for its support and involvement in the publication of Volume 11 but we have mutually decided that is not a viable path ahead.

The future for PLPR will be different. We expect to announce in the next couple of months a new model of privacy publication which will carry the name Privacy Law & Policy Reporter forward, with the involvement of many of the people who have been responsible for its success in the past, as a free access and open content publication. Watch this space.

For the moment we should conclude by saying ‘thank-you’. Our original publishers, Oliver Freeman and Prospect Publishing for volumes 1-7 and Butterworths (LexisNexis) for volumes 8-10 provided support and professionalism that enhanced our content. Our Editorial Board members, many of whom have been ‘on board’ since the earliest issues, have provided much of our most valuable content, and we trust they will be with us in future. Jill Matthews indexed Volumes 1-10 and provided support through thick and thin. And finally both our contributors and our readers have kept us going with their continuing positive comments about the value of PLPR both as a venue in which to publish and a publication to read. We thank you all.

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