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Archive for December, 2010

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Memo to HOS: When a man is accused of dismembering his former partner, don’t pap their 5-year-old kid

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Yes, even if he may be an important witness. Especially if he may be an important witness.
Even if he’s in a public place.
Even if a different picture of the boy and his mum was supplied by the police. (Memo to the police: What the hell were you thinking?)
Also, don’t try to justify this sort of shoddy […]

Press Council agrees with me

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

You might remember that I lambasted the Sunday Star-Times for its misleading front-page headline “Sex attack gets drunk driver off”. The story was about a woman convicted of drunk driving who hadn’t even appealed that conviction, only her sentence.
Well, Andrew Geddis was equally incensed, and complained to the Press Council. It upheld the complaint.

BSA cracks down?

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Is the Broadcasting Standards Authority, with its new personnel, getting tougher on taste and decency issues on TV? Earlier this year, it upheld complaints against TV3 for a somewhat raunchy scene in Home & Away at 5:30pm , and TVNZ for a somewhat raunchier scene in Hung at 10:10pm. Now it’s upheld two more complaints against TV3, […]

Another media name suppression beat up

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

This article, headed “Porn accused gets name suppression” is in fact about a defendant who was denied permanent name suppression. An interim suppression order is due to lapse, but has been continued pending the defendant’s decision to appeal against the denial of permanent name suppression. (It’s obvious that this has to happen, otherwise the appeal […]

Pike River privacy IV

Friday, December 17th, 2010

You may have seen the debate between Dr Nicole Moreham and I about the possibility of a privacy lawsuit against the media for showing pictures of grieving Pike River coal mine relatives leaving the meeting where they were told that the miners had certainly died.
Here’s a recent BSA case that sheds some light. It offers […]

Primer on the New Zealand Constitution

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Here’s a “Simpleton’s guide to the Constitution” that I wrote for the The Press a few years ago. It seems timely to stick it up again given the government’s new Constitutional review (aka the “Consideration of Constitutional Issues”).      
At the law school where I work, you’ll sometimes find foreign students wandering around the law library looking baffled. “Where is your constitution?” […]

Toothless Bill of Rights?

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I think NZ Herald’s John Armstrong is on the money when he lambasts John Key for not fronting up and justifying the decision to hold hearings into the NZ SIS Amendment Bill in private, and for wondering whether there is any real justification.
But his parting shot at the “privacy supposedly protected by New Zealand’s toothless […]

Wikileaks: the big question

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

In all of the controversy about Wikileaks, one central question seems to remain unresolved: how should we pronounce “Assange”? Is it “an” as in ”dance” or “blancmange” or “flange”? [Update: these sites suggest that the first is correct].
The main lesson of the Wikileaks saga for me is that we should be skeptical of government assertions that the revelation […]

Pike River privacy III

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

In an earlier post, I wondered whether Dr Nicole Moreham was right to say that the grieving relatives at Pike River, caught on camera shortly after being told that all 29 miners were certainly dead, could successfully sue for invasion of privacy. Here’s her reply:
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Thanks, Steven.  I am glad that […]

Ask and ye shall receive?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Next time you hear the media bleating about our restrictive suicide-reporting rules, consider this. The law allows the media to seek permission from the coroner to report the details of an apparent (or confirmed) suicide. Last night, I asked Chief Coroner Neil MacLean how often the media sought such permission. He said it was extremely […]

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