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Archive for December, 2009

New Canadian responsible journalism defamation defence

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The Canadian Supreme Court has followed most of the rest of the common law world in developing a privilege to publish information in the public interest, providing the publication was “responsible”. Both are elements for the defence to prove. It’s broadly similar to the UK defence in Reynolds - so it’s wider than the current versions […]

TVNZ upholds Paul Henry complaint

Monday, December 21st, 2009

TVNZ’s complaints committee has found that Paul Henry breached the taste and decency standard with his comments on Susan Boyle on Breakfast last month. He giggled when reporting that she had been starved of oxygen at birth and said she was “retarded” and you could see it from her photograph. It’s worse when you see […]

“Comedian” child sex accused name suppression

Monday, December 21st, 2009

It seems that a “comedian” has been granted name suppression in connection with charges that he has had unlawful sexual connection with a child under 12, his daughter.
This isn’t some namby-pamby judge covering up for a celebrity. This suppression kicks in automatically under the Criminal Justice Act, I think. Alleged sex crime victims are given name suppression under […]

Twittering in the courtroom

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

It’s been allowed in the US and Australia, with an Australian judge saying:
I believe that the public has a legitimate right to be fully informed of proceedings, particularly proceedings such as (the iiNet case), which have attracted considerable public interest. Twittering can serve to inform the public in a more speedy and comprehensive manner than […]

Down, Tiger!

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Tiger Woods has obtained an injunction against the publication of some private details in the UK.  Media lawyer Mark Stephens suggests that it concerns information that’s being freely reported in the US.
If that’s so, the injunction seems futile, and therefore legally unjustifiable.
It also seems strategically dopey. It can only serve to achieve something I had thought impossible: to increase […]

Good front page lead for tomorrow’s Sunday Star-Times

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

The “high profile businesswoman” who featured in last week’s SST front-page lead because she received interim name suppression on charges of supplying drugs to her dying ex-husband, has now been named. From this report, it seems that her lawyers did not even see fit to contest it further, and the suppression just lapsed.
She’s Colleen Sylvia […]

OIA FYI

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Speaking of the Law Commission, they’re seeking your views on whether we should be changing our official information laws. Online survey here. You’ll have to be in quickly though: they want the feedback by January [Update: new deadline is 15 February].

Contempt announcement looming

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

At the R v the Internet conference last week Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said there’s a government announcement on the law of contempt looming. A reference to the Law Commission perhaps?