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Name suppression

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Fact Suppression

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Which is worse: our name suppression laws, or the media’s coverage of them? Today, the Sunday Star-Times leads with a story headlined “Identity of high profile drug accused kept secret”. The story is about a familiar one: public figure gets name suppression; cue outrage. Never mind that this particular defendant’s name was not suppressed between […]

TV3 broadcasts “I shot the prick” tape extract

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Here. Was it legal? As I understand it, there’s still an application before the High Court for access to the deleted part of the tape from the Court file. It might be happening right now. But I’m not aware of any decision granting access yet. TV3 told us that “the Supreme Court said the material […]

Karla Cardno’s dad suppression case: not much of an issue

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

You might have caught me on TV3 last night explaining that it was worth a shot for Karla Cardno’s dad and his new wife to seek name suppression for their sex charges on the grounds that they’re going to get extra publicity given the notoriety of those past (but unconnected) events. If you’re het up […]

Law Commission looks at suppression laws

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

The Law Commmission has put out an issues paper on suppressing names and evidence. They’re seeking input, but you’d better be quick. The paper sets out the various ways names and evidence can be suppressed, and asks whether reform is needed. In general, they’re looking at recommending that the grounds on which suppression can be granted […]

Harvey’s online gag

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Sounds like a prank website, doesn’t it? Of course, I mean Judge Harvey’s recent order that non-internet media can report on the proceedings against the accused killers of John Hapeta. Still, some people have been wondering: is this a joke? Isn’t trying to put a lid on the internet rather like trying to bottle a […]

Suppression unsuppressed

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Just how much suppressing are the courts doing? In the past it’s been hard to tell, because statistics have been pretty patchy. But in an admirably prompt response to my request for some statistical information, the Ministry of Justice compiled some data for me from their records. Name suppression is the perennial hot issue. Is […]

Highlights from Press Council forum

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Top 10 most interesting points from Thursday’s public forum, “The Press and the Right to Know Under Siege”, where the speakers were Law Commissioner John Burrows QC and the chairs of the Australian and NZ Press Councils, Professor Ken McKinnon and Barry Paterson QC: Barry Paterson, a retired High Court judge, “hated TV in the […]

Name suppression not automatic in diversion cases

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Fairfax has won a significant victory in the Court of Appeal, which has ruled that people who have been given diversion should not automatically have their names suppressed. Justice Wild had held that they should, absent “compelling reasons” or “very special circumstances”. That effectively upended the usual presumption of openness.  The Court of Appeal said: … […]

Editors and name suppression

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Are editors liable if their publications breach name suppression? Not if they didn’t read the story, and it was reasonable for them not to, according to a British case. The story identified the victim of a sex offence. But the editor said he hadn’t read it. It was on page 35, and the editor had been […]

Free speech audit in Australia

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Former NSW Ombudsman Irene Moss has conducted an audit into the state of free speech in Australia and concluded that “free speech and media freedom are being whittled away by gradual and sometimes almost imperceptible degrees.” I confess I’m always a bit suspicious of death-by-a-thousand-cuts claims, since they often overlook or underestimate the ways in which free […]

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