This article explores the powers available to courts in Victoria and New South Wales to restrain the media publication of ‘extraneous’ prejudicial material – that is, material that is derived from sources extraneous to court proceedings rather than from the proceedings themselves. Three sources of power are explored: the power in equity to grant injunctions to restrain threatened sub judice contempt, the inherent jurisdiction of superior courts and, finally, statutory powers in New South Wales under the Court Suppression and Non-publications Orders Act 2010 (NSW) and in Victoria under the Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic). It argues that the approach of the Victorian courts is much broader in terms of the scope and application of orders, which potentially explains why orders restraining extraneous material are more commonly made in Victoria than in New South Wales. It further argues that the Victorian approach presents some significant consequences for publishers.
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