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SC agrees to hear Siemer contempt appeal

By Steven | July 30, 2012

Do judges have power to suppress the contents of whole judgments in criminal cases?

If not, then perhaps Vince Siemer has a defence to the contempt ruling against him for posting a suppressed judgment in the Urewera case. 

The High Court and Court of Appeal said “yes” (discussions here and here). The Supreme Court has agreed to consider this question. I’m betting¬†it will reach the same conclusion.

Topics: Contempt of Court, Suppression orders | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “SC agrees to hear Siemer contempt appeal”

  1. ross Says:
    July 31st, 2012 at 9:50 pm


    In your earlier discussion of the CoA decision, you questioned why the whole judgment needed to be suppressed and suggested that it wouldn’t remain suppressed for all time. Now that those convicted have been sentenced, should we expect suppression to be waived in the near future?

  2. Steven Says:
    August 8th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    It will depend on how it was expressed. It’s often stated to last until the completion of trial and any appeal.

  3. Jeremy Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    A few weeks back Steven Franks took part in a Native Affairs debate on the Urewera case and was waving a copy of the police affidavit around and quoting from it quite liberally. Russell Brown was also on the show and commented: Yes, I’ve read that file as well. That a journalist should admit to seeing and reading suppressed documents is hardly surprising – but Steven Franks ? Can you be held in contempt of court for obtaining and referring to suppressed documents?


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