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Archive for October, 2009

Bad English

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Let me get this straight: TVNZ7 scripted this ad? What were they thinking? I must say, my first response was the same as Graeme Edgeler’s: this might be an “election programme” under the Broadcasting Act. It’s an offence to broadcast a promo that “advocates support for a candidate or for a political party”. Interestingly, the […]

House of Lords supports dumping criminal libel

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

And about time. We’ve already got rid of it. Mind you, the Aussie state of Victoria, where I am right now, still recognises criminal libel – which includes defamation of dead people and defamation where’s there’s no publication to anyone but the person defamed – and the defences (except truth) aren’t clear. Who knew? Looks […]

Sure enough…

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The Solicitor-General has applied for Vince Siemer to be held in contempt of court for breaching the court order that he remove from his website his article about a suppressed HC judgment. (This time, he has sensibly just gone for a three-month jail term, seeking to avoid the Bill of Rights right-to-jury issues that continue […]

What’s wrong with trial by media?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I get irked by those who rail against “trial by media” as if it’s some general category of wrongdoing. Yes, some reporting of allegedly criminal conduct is unfair, inaccurate or unbalanced, and some may even prejudice an accused person’s right to a fair trial. In such cases, we should by all means criticise the reporting […]

Siemer in contempt again?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Yet another chapter is written in the Vince Siemer saga. In this episode, Vince decides that a High Court order suppressing publication of a decision doesn’t apply to him. The decision concerned some pre-trial rulings in concerning the Uruwera defendants, so it’s pretty big deal. Justice Winkelmann suppressed the decision, it seems, out of concern […]


Monday, October 19th, 2009

Heavy-hitting UK libel law firm Carter-Ruck has been getting some bad press lately. The Guardian reported that Carter-Ruck (famously referred to as “Carter-Fuck” by its nemesis Private Eye) had gagged it from reporting Parliamentary proceedings. What’s more, the gagged material related to a report concerning a toxic waste spill by giant oil company Trafigura. And […]