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Archive for June, 2008

Access Denied

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Judge Patrick Treston has refused to allow the media access to video evidence in the assault case against police officers at Whakatane. He reportedly said the media coverage would probably be unfair and would “prejudice” the officers, who had been acquitted. Perhaps he was referring to ongoing employment issues and an Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation.
I […]

Book Review: Thomas’s muscular take on the project of judging

Friday, June 27th, 2008

“The Judicial Process: Realism, Pragmatism, Practical Reasoning and Principles”
By Justice E.W. Thomas
Cambridge University Press
Don’t be put off by the scholarly title. For anyone with an interest in judging, this is a readable and provocative critique of the way many judges go about their job. Justice Ted Thomas’s views about his craft are forthright, colourful, and […]

Dopey complaints

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Pity the Advertising Standards Complaints Board. Get a load of these complaints, all from its latest summary of decisions:

The word “shitty” in a Burger Fuel poster was “offensive and socially irresponsible”.
A newspaper ad for Waikato draught beer with the tagline “for a hardcase thirst” was said to contain “an unduly masculine theme”.
A Land Transport NZ […]

Electoral Finance Act lawsuit tanks

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Was the Crown Law Office vet that found that the Electoral Finance Bill wasn’t inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act wrong? Should the Attorney-General have reported to Parliament that the bill was inconsistent with our rights to freedom of expression? Is the Electoral Finance Act itself inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act?
John Boscawen […]

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 permanent […]

Desperately seeking relief

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Readers will know I’m a generally fan of free speech. But I would support a ban on the use, by all politicians in every election year, of the word “desperate”.

Feeling sorry for Vince?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Poor Vincent Siemer. Facing a limitless stretch in the slammer for … what? A couple of websites? Oath.
I’m afraid I find it difficult to get too worked up about Vince’s plight. He’d like to pitch his troubles as a freedom of expression battle against a corrupt businessman (his nemesis, Michael Stiassny), and corrupt lawyers (including his own), and corrupt […]

Hello?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Is that the courts’ decisions of public interest department? [Note: I originally unfairly said that the Ministry of Justice ran this. But it’s the judges who run this website and decide what gets posted].
Don’t you think Justice Miller’s decision on abortion law might qualify?
A media release explaining its essence might be helpful, too. Really, you’ve only got yourselves to […]

No Sentence or Sensibility

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

I’m not sure the implications of this extraordinary Dominion Post story have been explored quite enough:
The practice of offering rewards in murder cases is under review after the defence in the Foreman trial used the proposed payout to undermine the Crown’s star witness.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust was set to pay $50,000 to Donna Kingi if Murray […]