CANBERRA: Australia’s highest court on Wednesday upheld a government decision to fire a public servant who used a pseudonym to criticize government immigration policy on Twitter.
According AP News, the High Court’s seven judges unanimously overturned a lower court’s decision that Michaela Banerji’s dismissal was not reasonable and that public service rules around the use of social media and making public comment “unacceptably trespassed on the implied freedom of political communication.”
The Community and Public Sector Union, which represents public servants, said the decision had serious implications for free speech and could potentially affect almost 2 million Australians who work for the federal, state and local governments.
The articles added, Banerji used the Twitter handle “LaLegale” to send more than 9,000 tweets in six years while she was employed by what was then called the Department of Immigration and Border Protection from 2006 and 2012.
The tweets were often critical of government policies, such as banishing refugees who attempt to reach Australia by boat to camps on the poor Pacific island nations of Papua New Guineas and Nauru. – AP NEWS