Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: The hopeful disallowance of the New Zealand Teachers Council (Conduct) Rules 2004

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  • Moz, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Graeme, the charge is normally producing it, not showing to an under-18. Although that would be one of the alternative charges available. You'd get laughed at, I suspect. Convicted of showing a photo of yourself undressed...

    Just to make it clear: I said child porn because R18 material is normally called porn, and there's not a clear legal boundary AFAIK between "porn featuring people under 18" and "child porn".. But whatever you want to call it, legally it's frowned on.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Moz,

    I said child porn because R18 material is normally called porn

    R18 stuff can include a variety of non-porn things (horror, for example, like The Exorcist).

    By definition, anything that is R18 is not child porn. Child Porn is R(Everyone) (or should that be R(No-one)?).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan Milne,

    Graeme, good work on your submission. If the Teachers Council declines our request to amend their rules (www.tiny.cc/teacherscouncil) then we'll be lining up alongside you to give evidence to the Regulations Review select committee.

    The blanket suppression rule, as it stands, is more draconian than any other statutory professional body and most courts, and is quite at odds with the principles of open justice espoused by the Law Commission (2009) and successive government.

    In response to Rich of Observationz, we are entirely supportive of the protection of the identity of minors, in this case children alleged to have been victims of teacher misconduct. We say so in our letter, above.

    But the Health Practitioners disciplinary tribunal and the courts have proved it is perfectly practical to impose case-by-case suppression orders to protect the identity of individual children. In addition, automatic statutory suppression exists for the victims (adult or child) or sexual offending, and we'd support the extension of this suppression to the Teachers Council Disciplinary Tribunal.

    The naming of teachers found guilty of serious misconduct does not mean the identification of child victims, in most cases. If it did - for instance, in the case of sexual offending in a one-classroom school - then we would expect the Disciplinary Tribunal would impose a suppression order.

    I point you also to our editorial at the weekend: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10860203

    Yours,

    Jonathan Milne
    Deputy editor
    Herald on Sunday

    Auckland • Since Feb 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jonathan Milne,

    Thanks for swinging by, Jonathan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18883 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Grainger, in reply to Moz,

    Victoria has a police check system that’s used for mildly-sensitive roles, called the “working with children check” (http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/workingwithchildren/ ). It covers more than you’d expect, specifically anyone who volunteers at an event where school kids go as part of their school activities (ScienceWorks, for example). So there have been times when I have refused to volunteer because I object to that system – paying the police for a half-arsed check, so I can volunteer for an afternoon? Shove that.

    A late reply, but I'd just like to point out that we have a similar system in New Zealand, simply called Police Vetting. The Police have a practice of 'red-stamping' any person that is recommended to not work with children. The concerns with this system is that it goes into a lot more than simply convictions, and can include allegations. Files returned from vetting can also include information not when the person concerned was alleged to be an offender, but also when they were a victim.

    In response to the sex-offender register, my understanding is that there is nothing formal, but there exists an MOU between Corrections and Police governing information sharing around sex offenders, so that they can be monitored upon release. If I recall correctly, Anne Tolley is also doing some work on a registration system based off the system in the UK, triggered by the reports of the sex-offender who stole a teachers identity and offended against children.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

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