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NZ’s Dunne v Canwest

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Here’s a column I wrote about the Dunne case suggesting that the media’s predictions of doom and gloom were wrong. Judging by the media reaction, Justice Young’s decision to order TV3 to include Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton in its leaders’ debate last week was one of the most astonishing blunders in judicial history. Media […]

Scotland’s Dunne v Canwest

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Remember Peter Dunne’s successful legal action forcing his inclusion in TV3’s televised election debate? The Scottish National party has tried it too. Not so successfully though. [PS Decision here. A few notable things. First, it’s hard to disagree with the party’s claim that the debates really are extremely significant in determining electoral support. The Liberal Democrats’ […]

Free speech by the numbers

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

In case you were wondering what the First Amendment was all about, US Court of Appeals judge and law and economics whizz Richard Posner has the answer: Ax – Bx = -(pH / (1 + d)n + O)x where the xs are subscripts denoting derivatives and relate to potential strictness of regulation; the n is […]

Boscawen appeal fails

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

The Court of Appeal has thrown out the Bill of Rights challenge to the Electoral Finance Act. That’s not to say that they thought the EFA was consistent with the BORA. Just that they wouldn’t consider the issue. I’m not too surprised that they threw out the challenge to the Attorney-General’s decision not to report […]


Monday, November 3rd, 2008

How ironic that ACT violated the Greens’ intellectual property rights by pinching their cute-kid photo. So much for the law-and-order party. Still, I think this points up a gap in our law. Spoofs like this should be fair game, I think. The US has a fairly strong parody defence to copyright infringements. Australia has followed […]

White Knight

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The Wellington City Council is requiring prior approval and bonds for the posting of political posters on council-owned poster bollards, and is apparently restricting their locations. Dean Knight rightly takes issue with this policy here and here.

Labour’s YouTube Boob 2

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I mentioned the Electoral Commission v Cameron case in the post below. The Court of Appeal granted judicial review against an Advertising Standards Authority decision upholding a complaint against the Electoral Commission. One of the grounds of that decision was that the ASA shouldn’t have used its own complaints jurisdiction to trespass on the Electoral […]

Labour’s YouTube Boob

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Did John Key say National would cut KiwiSaver in half? That’s what Labour said in their “John and John” ad. The ad was broadcast on TV and posted on YouTube. One S Davies-Colley thought was misleading, and complained about it. Under NZ’s increasingly creaky media law edifice, complaints about TV and radio election ads go to the Broadcasting Standards […]

Eat the worm

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

There’s talk that TV3 might use the worm again for its leaders’ debate. In an attempt to persuade them not to, let me revisit a column I wrote before the last election: I see the worm is back. No, I’m not talking about John O’Neill. I mean the squiggly electronic line that measures audience reaction […]

A plea for savvy election night coverage

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

It’s not too much to ask, surely. Here’s what any sensible person, at least half-interested in politics, is going to want to know as the election results roll in: 1. What’s going on in the key electorates that might make or break a party? Winston Peters, Rodney Hide, Peter Dunne, Jim Anderton, maybe Ron Mark. […]

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