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Archive for August, 2008

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Defamation liability for threads on blogs and news websites

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Remember the basic rule of defamation: you publish it, you’re liable for it. That includes everyone involved in the publication. In a newspaper: the quoted source, the reporter, the subeditor, the editor, the publisher, the printer, the paperboy, and the bookshop. (The last three probably have a defence of innocent dissemination, as long as they’ve […]

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 […]


Monday, August 25th, 2008

Some defence lawyers have been getting their knickers in a knot about reporting on the Veitch case in yesterday’s Sunday Star-Times and Herald on Sunday. Can’t say I share their concerns. Certainly, now that charges have been laid, publishing material that tends to create a real risk of prejudice to Veitch’s trial will be a contempt […]

Hooten boasts of flouting the law

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

I guess you have to admire Matthew Hooten’s honesty for admitting that, as a Beehive staffer, he’s advised departments to breach the Official Information Act. And I don’t doubt that this government does the same thing. But I find this high-fiving about it pretty sickening: As a Beehive staffer in the 1990s, I regularly “suggested” that […]

It’s defiance, Susan, but not as we know it

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Huh? Here’s Susan Pepperell’s lead in today’s Star-Times story about the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s plan to “defy” the Electoral Finance Act: Lobby group the Sensible Sentencing Trust is planning to defy the Electoral Finance Act in the lead-up to the general election. Its evidence that this will be an act of defiance? Read on: McVicar said […]

It’s censorship, John, but not as we know it

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Poor John Boscowan. He’s been censored. I know this, because he’s got “censored” written across his full-page Sunday Star-Times ad opposing the Electoral Finance Act. Yes, apart from being one of the few people in the country able to afford to express his views in 850 words in a full-page ad in one of the […]

Keeping abreast of legal issues

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Dean Knight and I have been debating one of the finer points of the Bill of Rights Act. We’ve been talking about how it might apply to the proposed boobs-on-bikes parade. (I gather an injunction application is being argued as I type). The question relates to Bob McCoskrie’s [corrected spelling courtesy of Robyn: see comments] claim that the […]

Dollar votes?

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Russell Brown is pointing out that TV3’s election website is flogging profile pages to candidates at $299 a pop. There’s no indication on the profile pages themselves that the MPs have to pay for them (though there is a “purchase page” tab on the main page that might clue readers in). They’re also charging $399 for […]

Auckland Council boob-oo?

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Can the new Auckland Council bylaw requiring permits for (among other things) “any organised temporary activity including an organised gathering, parade, protest…” on public streets possibly be lawful?  Administrative law expert Dean Knight doesn’t think so. His terrific analysis concludes: I am very confident in saying that, to the extent that the bylaw requires citizens […]

Upcoming privacy forum

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

If you’re interested in privacy, you might like to register for the Privacy Commissioner’s Privacy Issues Forum, to be held in Wellington on 27 August. The programme includes a keynote speech from the Commissioner herself and a presentation on the Law Commission’s work on privacy by Sir Geoffery Palmer and John Burrows QC, as well […]

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