Steven Price

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Harassment Act

Has the Harrassment Act just swallowed the law of defamation?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

In a landmark judgment, a court has ordered a blogger to indefinitely remove more than a hundred posts and comments attacking the reputation of a lawyer, and not to write about her again.
The decision (Flannagan v Sperling DC Waitakere, 4 June 2013, Harvey DCJ, CIV 2012-090-986) may have opened up a cheap highway through the […]

On purpose

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

If someone applies for a civil restraining order under our Harrassment Act, there is a defence of lawful purpose.
I’ve often wondered just how far this can be taken. It must surely be a lawful purpose to tell someone that you love them. But it’s hard to see that excusing a fellow who pursues this purpose […]

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 media. […]

Free speech vs privacy

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

A New Mexico man puts up a billboard of himself holding the outline of a baby, saying:
This Would Have Been a Picture Of My 2-Month Old Baby If The Mother Had Decided To NOT KILL Our Child!
His ex-partner (who says she had a miscarriage not an abortion) sues for harrassment and invasion of privacy.
A London […]

Chasing Ali

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The latest development in the Alison Mau saga reads like a media law exam question.
On Breakfast TV she took a swipe at Woman’s Day, saying its “paparazzi photographer has been stalking me, my children and my friends for a month now, quite possibly more, following me to the supermarket, the kids’ tennis and touch rugby, […]

Media harassment

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

UK popster Lily Allen has obtained an order against paparazzi under the UK’s Protection from Harassment Act. Our Harassment Act contains similar provisions for anti-harassment orders. I’m not aware of any being used against the media here yet, but harassment is widely defined, and journalists or photographers who persistently hound people (including by accosting them […]