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Law Commission’s new media paper

Monday, December 12th, 2011

The Law Commission has issued an issues paper on reform of news media and new media regulation. This isn’t a final report; they’re looking for feedback on their proposals. I think it’s a thougthful and well-researched paper. It’s very much alive to the problems of online regulation and the importance of free speech and the […]

Told you so

Friday, October 28th, 2011

High Court agrees with me You might remember that I argued (here and here) that the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s decision to uphold complaints against TVNZ’s documentary on the Aramoana massacre on grounds of taste and decency and children’s interests, was wrong. The High Court has agreed with me. It has upheld TVNZ’s appeal. (I should […]

Video camera surveillance and the Urewera defendants

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I’ve been spending spare moments in the last few days trying to get my head around the Supreme Court’s decision (available here; it’s R v Hamed). I’m not sure I really understand it. But then, that puts me in good company: Attorney-General Chris Finlayson and the Police Association’s Greg O’Connor don’t seem to understand it either. What I’m really interested in […]

Taking rights seriously

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

So I am sitting in the public gallery of courtroom 9 in the Wellington District Court building, watching a Human Rights Review Tribunal case. Beside me is Dr Rayner Thwaites, who teaches at Victoria University’s law school and has a close interest in discrimination issues. He starts taking notes. Within minutes, he is approached by […]

Is Macsyna King being censored?

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

No doubt you’ve heard that the upcoming Ian Wishart book by Macsyna King is being boycotted by a range of bookstores. Is this censorship, as some are claiming? No. Well, not really. Censorship is usually regarded as emanating from the state. There’s no law against stocking this book. There’s no legal penalty for doing so. […]

Corrections ban on Truth surely unlawful

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The Department of Corrections’ decision to ban the Truth from Auckland prison looks unlawful. And typical. The prison says the ban is based on the content of the paper’s coverage, not on the girly ads. It’s possible (but I would have thought very unlikely) that the ads might fall under the department’s ability to confiscate “objectionable” […]

Hung: drawn and quartered

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The BSA’s decision on the Hung programme has been put to death by the High Court. (You might have thought this would be a judicial decision of public interest for the Courts of NZ website. Apparently not.) My article with Claudia Geiringer about the BSA and the Bill of Rights is cited again, perhaps not […]

Max Mosley slapped down

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The European Court of Human Rights has unanimously rejected Formula 1 boss Max Mosley’s claim that the UK’s laws didn’t sufficiently protect his privacy because they didn’t require the press to give him advance notice before publishing invasive articles about him. The most surprising thing about this decision is that the ECHR held that it […]

Victory for protesters’ rights

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Valerie Morse has won her appeal in the Supreme Court against her conviction for offensive behaviour for burning a NZ flag in protest at the 2007 Anzac Day dawn ceremony. (I represented her, along with Tony Shaw and Felix Geiringer). Valerie lost in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. But the decision […]

Pagani sides with the wowsers

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

John Pagani reckons the BSA got it right about Aramoana, and I got it wrong. He thinks it was a “balanced call”, made by the experts we’ve appointed to administer standards that, after all, include good taste and decency and children’s interests. For him, I’m a “Bill of Rights fundamentalist” who treats this as an […]

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