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Archive for December, 2008


Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Two of our top judges recently denied a Fairfax journalist permission to speak to jurors about the strengths and weaknesses of the jury system, even though the journalist promised not to identify the jurors or the defendants or discuss the particulars of the cases. The judges cited Solicitor-General v Radio NZ, and said the request “lacks […]

Defamation: sometimes it IS a laughing matter

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Justice Tugendhart has thrown out Elton John’s defamation case against the Guardian for publishing a spoof diary entry. The judge said it was “obviously a form of teasing” and no reasonable reader would take defamatory meanings from it. Chalk one up on the free speech side of the complete mess that is the sector of […]


Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Here’s some free advice to any busker accused of falling foul of Auckland City Council’s extraordinary new policy on street theatre requiring buskers to have a sufficient repertoire of songs to last out their performance (maximum playing time: one hour) without repetition: 1. thank the authorised officer kindly, 2. apologise for the breach of the […]

Siemer in Wonderland 2

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Those dastardly Court of Appeal judges, O’Regan and Arnold JJ, having brazenly refused to recuse themselves from Siemer’s case, cunningly affected to hide their biases by asking questions of counsel that rather suggested some sympathy with Siemer’s right-to-jury argument… The real news flash from the hearing was that the Crown explicitly conceded that contempt defendants […]

Siemer in Wonderland

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Vince Siemer is presenting his case, by videolink from Auckland, to the Court of Appeal. He has told the judges that he has “considerable respect for the institution” of the courts. This submission is somewhat compromised, it’s fair to say, by the fact that he is dressed up as Alice in Wonderland, complete with blue frock, white apron […]

Supreme Court to hear defamation case

Monday, December 1st, 2008

The sprawling trawling case is off to the Supreme Court. It’s pretty much for defamation train-spotters only – the appeal concerns pre-trial skirmishes about points of pleading (listed below). But these issues matter quite a lot, as they set the boundaries for the arguments and evidence that can be advanced in an attemtpt to establish […]