It was a minor point in a matter that otherwise involved public interest immunity claims on the basis of legal privilege and cabinet documents. The decision also included a reminder [73-85] that in the courts at least such claims are not absolute and must be weighed against disclosure in the public interest for the purpose of the proper administration of justice. Despite the views of commentators on the outside, government isn't interested in requiring that sort of balancing of interests under the Freedom of Information laws when documents are claimed exempt on these grounds.
"impeached" (in the sense of impaired or deterred or prejudiced) by producing document 4, nor (apart from the question of legal professional privilege) document 1. Nevertheless, and not without hesitation, I have reached the conclusion that compulsory production of these documents would "impeach" (as explained in Rowley v O’Chee) "proceedings in Parliament" (as extensively defined in s 16(2)(c) of the Parliamentary Privileges Act). It seems to me necessarily true, and not dependent upon the evidence of the particular case, that if briefings and draft briefings to Parliamentarians for Question Time and other Parliamentary debate are amenable to subpoenas and other orders for production, the Commonwealth officers whose task it is to prepare those documents will be impeded in their preparation, by the knowledge that the documents may be used in legal proceedings and for investigatory purposes that might well affect the quality of information available to Parliament. To take a step that would have that consequence would, I think, derogate from the force of the Bill of Rights and run contrary to the historical justification for that legislation, so ably sketched by McPherson JA (and see Mees v Road Corporation (2003) 128 FCR 418;  FCA 306, at  - per Gray J).
As to the current debate about a charter of rights I'm with Adam McBeth of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law who commented in response to the "wave of misinformation" on the subject, and argued the case for action by government, but at least a nod to The Australian for giving him the space:
"Successive Australian governments have held out a promise to the world by ratifying international treaties, that our government at home would abide by internationally agreed human rights standards.However, almost uniquely among developed countries, Australians have had no way of holding their government to that promise. No other developed country besides Australia thinks human rights belong in the ``non-legal'' realm.