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Lock him up!
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# 206108 9-Dec-2016 18:28
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I was checking the RNZ bulletins and happened to notice an item about the suspension of a celebrity trial. The circumstances were unusual enough to make me want to read the brief item. What piqued my curiosity was not the allegations themselves, but the complete and total suppression of everything having to do with the individual and even the reasons for stopping the current trial. Even by the usual standards here, this seemed a little over the top.

 

It was enough to make me want to look further, and in less than 10 minutes of fairly casual Googling I had a pretty good idea who the person was. In fact, I am certain I know, I just can’t prove it at this moment.

 

What interests me about this is not the identity of the individual, or the nature of the allegations. As an immigrant with little knowledge of NZ television culture, I had no idea who the person was even after I knew the name, though others would probably recognise it.

 

What does interest me, and what makes this relevant to Geekzone, is how easy current communications technology makes it it for anyone, even an outsider, to learn the details of almost any suppressed court process. I doubt the judges who issue suppression orders fully appreciate this and when they finally do, I wonder what effect that may have.

 

I was able to learn what I needed to know to identify the person within just a few minutes by skimming a couple of social media sites where the matter was being discussed. This not only gave me some useful clues, but even instructions on how and where to apply them. Yet I am fairly certain nothing that was said on any of those message boards would have constituted a violation of the suppression orders. Everything mentioned was already public knowledge. Nothing directly gave it away.

 

Suppression orders seem to make up a significant part of New Zealand jurisprudence. They are supposed to help to ensure fair justice and the protection of the innocent. However, I think far too much faith is placed in them. Anyone who wants to can easily find out who the subject of any suppression order is. So what is the point of them? What protection do they offer other than a false sense of security? I think the justice system here needs to accept that these don’t work anymore and that something else is required.





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 1685519 9-Dec-2016 20:56
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I am strongly opposed to suppression orders of people who are so called celebrities. What gives them any the right to an exemption that "normal" people are not entitled to? They have been arrested for criminal acts and are in a court room to either prove themselves innocent or be made guilty. They are simply hiding behind a suppression order so that they may protect family/career that all "charged" people have. Seems to be some kind of racism to me, unless of course there is a legitimate reason eg to protect children etc.


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  # 1685523 9-Dec-2016 21:06
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Anyone can apply for name suppression, it's not just the domain of so-called celebrity.  Difficult perhaps if you're relying on legal aid or can't afford quality representation though.

 

I guess put yourself in the shoes of the person with allegations against him/her, and then imagine you're innocent of those allegations.  Would you want your details suppressed or not? Would you want the info/gossip spreading through your workplace and professional network, along with your family and friends? 

 

Hard call I think.  In some ways I feel like if you're innocent you'd want to be staunchly defending yourself with nothing to hide.  But people talk, people form opinions based on gossip even in the face of the truth.  So it's a really hard call I think.

 

Then there's the other side - protection of the victim.... It's very complicated.  

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1685524 9-Dec-2016 21:07
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What people don't seem to be considering in this instance is that there is a possibility that the suppression of the so called celebrity's name is to protect the identity of the complainant. By law, complaints in cases of a sexual nature are entitled to anonymity (which can be waived by application to the court by the complainants themselves). Very often naming the accused will have the consequence of revealing the identity of the complainant, hence why accused people in such cases have their names suppressed. This might have nothing whatsoever to do with the person's supposed fame.

 

Whatever one thinks of suppression orders (I personally take the view that except for truly exceptional cases, if presumption of innocence is to be given its full effect, all those charged but not yet convicted of a crime should be entitled to automatic name suppression), the interests of the complainant in this case appears to have been missed.

 

 

 

 


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  # 1685527 9-Dec-2016 21:17
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I think that sometimes suppressing so many of the details around a person and the case can be seen as a challenge for people to use their google skills to attempt to find who the celeb is.

 

When this piece of filth Tony Robertson:

 

 

was on trial for murdering a woman, there were stories floating around about how the then unnamed man had previously abducted a little girl with the intention of sexual violation. There were threads about it on the trademe boards. A bit of simple googling gave me his full name and what he'd done in the past.

 

I have no idea of the identity of the actor who was on trial and I haven't attempted to find out.


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  # 1685549 9-Dec-2016 22:54
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Pumpedd:

 

They have been arrested for criminal acts and are in a court room to either prove themselves innocent or be made guilty. 

 

 

Just to get the facts straight: they have been arrested for *alleged* criminal acts and are in a court room for the Crown to attempt to prove their guilt. If the Crown fails, they are innocent.

 

And this goes to the heart of suppression orders. Until proven guilty, a person is entitled to have their privacy protected. A false or unproven allegation of criminal behaviour may unfairly harm an innocent person.

 

 


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  # 1685552 9-Dec-2016 23:06
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The opposite is the case in the UK - suppression as of right such as we have here does not exist unless you are the female victim of a crime such as rape or indecent assault.

 

The man charged will be named from the moment he is arrested and his life ruined even if he is found not guilty, he will suffer what we might call the Blain Effect.

 

Personally I think the NZ system works well aside from the fact that if someone publishes suppressed names on a server based in Estonia or somewhere, there would be sweet FA the judge in, say, New Plymouth could do about it!






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  # 1685571 10-Dec-2016 00:23
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Geektastic:

 

The opposite is the case in the UK - suppression as of right such as we have here does not exist unless you are the female victim of a crime such as rape or indecent assault.

 

The man charged will be named from the moment he is arrested and his life ruined even if he is found not guilty, he will suffer what we might call the Blain Effect.

 

Personally I think the NZ system works well aside from the fact that if someone publishes suppressed names on a server based in Estonia or somewhere, there would be sweet FA the judge in, say, New Plymouth could do about it!

 

 

In saying that, there was the relatively recent case where the partner of a well known celebrity had his name suppressed.  

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3599579/Injunction-farce-deepens-German-media-married-celebrity.html

 

It wasn't too hard to work out if you googled the right terms.... and I still can't work out why there was name suppression given to be honest.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1685599 10-Dec-2016 09:19
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^^^

 

Ah yeah, the piano player who has a huge collection of funny glasses.


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  # 1685656 10-Dec-2016 10:50
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allstarnz:

 

Geektastic:

 

The opposite is the case in the UK - suppression as of right such as we have here does not exist unless you are the female victim of a crime such as rape or indecent assault.

 

The man charged will be named from the moment he is arrested and his life ruined even if he is found not guilty, he will suffer what we might call the Blain Effect.

 

Personally I think the NZ system works well aside from the fact that if someone publishes suppressed names on a server based in Estonia or somewhere, there would be sweet FA the judge in, say, New Plymouth could do about it!

 

 

In saying that, there was the relatively recent case where the partner of a well known celebrity had his name suppressed.  

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3599579/Injunction-farce-deepens-German-media-married-celebrity.html

 

It wasn't too hard to work out if you googled the right terms.... and I still can't work out why there was name suppression given to be honest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes there are exceptions which well paid lawyers sometimes succeed in obtaining. As of right it does not exist whereas here it does - which leads to funny situations such as Police 10-7 putting out a wanted piece for "Mr A N Other" one week complete with his photo and details of his alleged offences, said individual being arrested the next week and thenceforth referred to only as "a man"!






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  # 1685682 10-Dec-2016 12:23
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Geektastic:

 

 

 

Yes there are exceptions which well paid lawyers sometimes succeed in obtaining. As of right it does not exist whereas here it does - which leads to funny situations such as Police 10-7 putting out a wanted piece for "Mr A N Other" one week complete with his photo and details of his alleged offences, said individual being arrested the next week and thenceforth referred to only as "a man"!

 

 

Yet again in your facts-free world you feel entitled to make things up to suit your agenda. There is no suppression as of right for offenders in NZ.

 

Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Act

 

 

 

 


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  # 1685687 10-Dec-2016 13:01
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dejadeadnz:

 

Geektastic:

 

 

 

Yes there are exceptions which well paid lawyers sometimes succeed in obtaining. As of right it does not exist whereas here it does - which leads to funny situations such as Police 10-7 putting out a wanted piece for "Mr A N Other" one week complete with his photo and details of his alleged offences, said individual being arrested the next week and thenceforth referred to only as "a man"!

 

 

Yet again in your facts-free world you feel entitled to make things up to suit your agenda. There is no suppression as of right for offenders in NZ.

 

Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Act

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be nice...


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  # 1686550 12-Dec-2016 14:25
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I'd go a blanket suppression on all criminal cases until the accused is found guilty. Throw enough mud in public and some will stick, even to those found to be innocent and that, with the damning and multiplying  effect of social media today, is an injustice. ON the flip side though, no suppression after being found guilty unless it directly threatens the safety of the victim.


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  # 1686561 12-Dec-2016 14:49
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Ramjet99:

 

I'd go a blanket suppression on all criminal cases until the accused is found guilty. Throw enough mud in public and some will stick, even to those found to be innocent and that, with the damning and multiplying  effect of social media today, is an injustice. ON the flip side though, no suppression after being found guilty unless it directly threatens the safety of the victim.

 

 

I agree with this, especially in these modern times - if you are applying for a job, there a very good chance that they'll google your name. If, through no fault of your own, you were a person of interest in a crime, and proven innocent, the fact of your name being associated with a crime will colour the opinion of the person doing the hiring.

 

Even if someone determined could with a bit of searching associate you and the court case, it would still stop a casual search of your name being linked with a crime you have been proved innocent of.


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  # 1686586 12-Dec-2016 16:33
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BlueShift:

 

Ramjet99:

 

I'd go a blanket suppression on all criminal cases until the accused is found guilty. Throw enough mud in public and some will stick, even to those found to be innocent and that, with the damning and multiplying  effect of social media today, is an injustice. ON the flip side though, no suppression after being found guilty unless it directly threatens the safety of the victim.

 

 

I agree with this, especially in these modern times - if you are applying for a job, there a very good chance that they'll google your name. If, through no fault of your own, you were a person of interest in a crime, and proven innocent, the fact of your name being associated with a crime will colour the opinion of the person doing the hiring.

 

Even if someone determined could with a bit of searching associate you and the court case, it would still stop a casual search of your name being linked with a crime you have been proved innocent of.

 

 

+1 





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  # 1686732 12-Dec-2016 21:38
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There should be a very high bar for name suppression if it exists at all. The problems resulting from internet searches exist regardless of court proceedings. Those should be addressed by other means.

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