Courting trouble

Bloggers beware: the Crown Law Office is reviewing internet publication after recent cases raised questions over contempt of court and suppression order breaches.

It’s nearly 30 years since I studied media law at journalism school. We weren’t using computers and had never heard of the internet so what we learned applied to print and broadcast media.

But I’ve always blogged on the theory that the laws which applied then still apply now whether they’re published in old media or new.

Comment which might influence a case before it’s concluded, publishing information that’s been suppressed or indentifying – explicitly or not – someone who has name suppression are all courting trouble.

Contempt of court has always been a serious charge and I don’t think the medium in which the offending comments were published would make a difference.

3 Responses to Courting trouble

  1. gravedodger says:

    IMHO to many suppression orders are granted for reasons that do no relate to fairness for the defendant and often are unfair to others on whom unwarranted suspicion falls. Also publication of defendants name and crimes alerts other victims to come forward with evidence and or allegations with relevance.
    I feel it is often too easy to get suppression orders and that fact brings the law into disrepute. When laws are disrespected more incidents of ignoring them are likely.


  2. pdm says:

    Gravediger I agree with you. From my lay person observations it seems as many as 75% of suppression orders are unnecessary.


  3. Tired Farmer says:

    Upon reading your post entitled “Courting Trouble ” and then going to the site www, it would seem that many of New zealand’s Court Judges are doing just that.


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