Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So-called celebrity justice

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  • mark taslov,

    So it's a stitch up. says a lot about the mentality the New Zealand Justice system is sewing. Considering the victim was outed yonks ago, why would she ever have assumed court was going to bring a better result than a bit of restorative justice.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    What are the rules around this kind of info getting put up on the likes of Twitter and Facebook?

    NZ justice system taking on international social networking sites would be interesting viewing

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    NZ justice system taking on international social networking sites would be interesting viewing

    They'd just lose and blame the ref, wouldn't they?

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Earlier there were posts from people who seemed expert in the matters of suppression orders and whatnot. [1] What is the situation once the order has been breached? Common sense would suggest that the order would persist, but does it? I ask because 10 seconds googling just found me a page on an infamous NZ blog where the identity of the (alleged) person in question is divulged via a pictogram.

    And, subsequently, [2] is it a breach of a suppression order to link to another site where the suppression order is breached?

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    is it a breach of a suppression order to link to another site where the suppression order is breached?

    I'm not certain about the first bit but I suspect that the order could still remain in place and viable as a crime even if it was "common knowledge"

    As for the second bit yes most definitely it is a breach of the order to provide information that allows others to breach the order.

    It's treading a fine line to describe the method you used, if for example you gave the keywords you used in your search it would be a definite breach as it is the oblique reference to a particular search result is putting this site at risk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Why would the justice system place so much responsibility in Russell's hands?

    Please just accept that it does, and behave accordingly as has been asked.

    What are the rules around this kind of info getting put up on the likes of Twitter and Facebook?

    Not a lawyer, but I understand that any NZ citizen can still be prosecuted for individually breaching the suppression order by posting on overseas-hosted sites and services, even though getting stuff removed or blocked may be unsuccessful.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sux2Bgoogle, if every link is a breach.

    IANAL, don't know if this disclaimer is sufficient, at all, but I don't have any clue who you are all talking about . But if I suggest going to Google, and searching on "entertainer", isn't it almost certain that pretty much any site on which the entertainer is outed is going to come up somewhere in Googles exhaustive webcrawl? Add a few more obvious terms (I'm not going to suggest any), and you're almost certain to have the name pop right up on you, if it's anywhere out there.

    I have not done this search, I don't even want to do it, I'm personally not interested much in who the person is. But the issue of suppression is interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Not a lawyer, but I understand that any NZ citizen can still be prosecuted for individually breaching the suppression order by posting on overseas-hosted sites and services, even though getting stuff removed or blocked may be unsuccessful.

    Yet if you post it on a NZ based site it’s the owner who gets prosecuted (and the offending person gets away with it?).

    That’s where I get confused.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    But if I suggest going to Google, and searching on "entertainer"

    I have just smashed my Scott Joplin collection in protest.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Yet if you post it on a NZ based site it’s the owner who gets prosecuted (and the offending person gets away with it?)

    Our intellectual property and reputation protection laws are unhelpful. We seem to lack fair use or safe harbour provisions that other countries have. Lawyers here can probably elaborate or point to suitable references.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Yet if you post it on a NZ based site it’s the owner who gets prosecuted (and the offending person gets away with it?)

    I think the offending person can also be prosecuted.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Uh Ben, sorry -- I know you posted that last comment in good faith, but it just got a little too close to telling how ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Russell, you got that memo too didn't you?, Go on admit it ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Soz Russ. Gotta say, this is a stink subject to not-discuss. Why'd you bring it up in the first place?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Soz Russ. Gotta say, this is a stink subject to not-discuss.

    No worries. Looking at where some of those suggested searches led, I might have been a little too cautious anyway.

    Why'd you bring it up in the first place?

    Well, it started as a little post saying "Hey! We're discussing name suppression on Media7 this week!" ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Well, it started as a little post saying "Hey! We're discussing name suppression on Media7 this week!" ...

    I guess you're testing now in a slightly safer environment what you can get away with on TV? If you get a call from a judge, then you know to pull back from that on the box?

    No worries. Looking at where some of those suggested searches led, I might have been a little too cautious anyway.

    Shhh! Now you're telling people where not to get their information. Don't be clever.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    telling people where not to get their information

    So that was my blissful mistake.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's easy to mistake not telling x with telling not x . I'm not telling that to a judge - they'll tell me I'm not a judge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Lawyers here can probably elaborate or point to suitable references.

    Worms. Can of.

    Some people on this thread appear to think that because the extent to which name suppression laws apply to the internet is uncertain, it's time for PAS to be the test case.

    My advice to anyone who wants to test the law is as follows: set your own blog up, publish details of the Wellington entertainer, and then see what happens. Imagine the excitement of not knowing whether you'll be ignored, fined or jailed.

    Please don't test the law on other peoples' sites.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Imagine the excitement of not knowing whether you'll be ignored, fined or jailed.

    I can rid you of some of the excitement - the maximum penalty for breach of a suppression order is a fine of $1000. You can't be jailed.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    How about if the default was to suppress details of everyone until a verdict was actually handed down, with public release of identifying details before that point only at the discretion of the judge (for instance in the case of sex offenders where it's believed that other victims might come forward if they knew of the case). Names then released following conviction, or suppression continued (at discretion of judge) with not guilty verdict.

    This way the assumption of everyone is 'we just can't talk about this' until told differently, and we'll hear no more of this bullshit about celebrity justice if bus drivers, doctors, musicians, and (gods damned shameful rapist) police are all treated the same.

    Suppression should be more stringent as well, no talk of it being an entertainer, or even age or gender if it can be avoided - which might help avoid any suspicion being cast on people in similar positions/same industry.

    Ultimately details of many crimes are no one's business but the parties directly involved - certainly until guilt is established by people who are conversant with all of the facts of a case - as well as of the law.

    All the gossip, prurient details, and so on... It's just nasty crap we can probably do better without. And with all of that taken away from the media, they'll have to talk about real news. Wouldn't that be exciting?

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    Some people on this thread appear to think that because the extent to which name suppression laws apply to the internet is uncertain, it's time for PAS to be the test case.

    Anyone who really desperately wants to see a test case can have their own site up and running in a matter of minutes.

    Even DPF deleted the most blatant posts from kiwiblog. Though he did seem to need a couple of nudges.

    I can rid you of some of the excitement - the maximum penalty for breach of a suppression order is a fine of $1000. You can't be jailed.

    Doesn't seem quite enough does it?

    Indeed, seems like it would be worth breaching for the Herald or TV3 to get the jump on their competition. Is there a graduated system for individuals vs. corporations? Or if it was willful and repeated would they just get slapped with some other charge?

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Why would the justice system place so much responsibility in Russell's hands?

    Please just accept that it does, and behave accordingly as has been asked.

    Easy Sacha, safety catch is on. I will abide by the law, but I don't accept that, I want it changed because it's bullshit. How the current or previous Government could let legislation like this stand 10 years into mainstream internet usage is a disgrace, giving hooligans like dubmugga and myself total power to fuck businesses and livelihoods, for the sake of one man's vanity or livelihood or even life. On what level is New Zealand's name suppression legislation good for greater society?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • dubmugga,

    1000 dollars ??? sheeeit... they can put it on my tab and see if i can get it swapped for playing rekkids at my local kindy where i'm sometimes parent help for the day

    the thing with making this site a test case as opposed to others is. we're not special enough to qualify for media watchdog status nor able to line up the blognoscenti and assorted hacks in support or do a whiparound the water cooler and russell up a sly grand to pay the fine.

    imagine a journo revolt/strike not covering politics or whatever in support of hard news ?

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    safety catch is on

    Sure wasn't last night though was it - and the continued blustering from both of you today has been unattractive to say the least. You can dislike the law as much as you like but that gives you no right to risk another person's livelihood or a community taonga like this place.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

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