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Rikkitic

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#277350 9-Oct-2020 13:46
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It is an occasional hobby of mine to search out names that have been suppressed in New Zealand, just to see if I can. Although I never do anything with the names I uncover, this is partly a symbolic act of resistance because in spite of so-called reforms, name suppression is still sometimes abused in this country to protect the privileged. 

 

Today I spotted a big article on RNZ about a doctor whose name we in New Zealand are not allowed to know, in spite of the fact that the doctor practises here and the name was published overseas. I could not resist this challenge so I immediately looked up the name, using the details helpfully provided in the RNZ article. Since it wasn't actually a secret, I found it almost immediately. I also learned that the doctor actually works for my very own health practice here(!), though my GP is a different one from that practice.

 

I was able to download a full account of a disciplinary hearing about that doctor, which resulted in the doctor's temporary suspension. The issue was not the doctor's competence or ability, but rather a single matter of dishonesty on an application form. The lie was actually a relatively minor one, and did not in any way affect the doctor's patients. The only issue is that the doctor lied at all.

 

This may well be a case where revealing the doctor's identity could do more harm than good. We all make mistakes, and this one could not have endangered anyone. But if that is true, then the article should not have been published at all, because it completely undermines the name suppression that is in force. This is a big part of the reason I strongly object to the way name suppression is used in this country. Either there is a good reason for it in specific cases, in which case it should be fully respected, or there is not, in which case it shouldn't be employed at all.

 

It is ridiculous, and invites contempt for the law, when names are suppressed here that can easily be found elsewhere. The fact that other countries do not have the same standards of name suppression that we do, suggests to me that our rules are still silly and out of date. With just a few exceptions, like perhaps the doctor above and instances involving children, there should be no name suppression here at all. Sparing a bigwig embarrassment or saving a lucrative career should not be the business of the courts. If someone doesn't want to be outed for something they know they shouldn't be doing, then they shouldn't do it. 

 

 





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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elpenguino
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  #2581901 9-Oct-2020 13:55
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I'm not an expert on these issues but I hear public officials talk about transparency, natural justice and deterrence. Deterrence would be one reason for publishing limited details - so others hear about it and think twice before 'forgetting' to include something important on an application form.

 

Transparency is a way for others outside the group to be aware of the group's ethos. Imagine if the whole thing was put aside because publishing any details would disproportionately affect the offender? Then we would have the medical council accused of protecting their inner circle.

 

Name suppression allows these aims to be met while putting some heat, but not all of consequences, on the offender.

 

 

 

 


gbwelly
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  #2581909 9-Oct-2020 14:13
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Jog on.

 

 








 
 
 
 


JaseNZ
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  #2581961 9-Oct-2020 15:26
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If you are a sportsman or media celeb its pretty much a given you get name suppression. 

 

Our laws here for suppression are a joke and used in the wrong context all the time.





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  #2582153 9-Oct-2020 23:28
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Not specific to the OP's point exactly but on the same lines: I do prefer the NZ system to that used in the UK. 

 

In the UK there is generally no suppression at all - except in crimes such as rape. There, the victim is given immediate and permanent suppression. The defendant, however, is not. Thus you will get reporting where "A N Other" is accused of the rape of Ms A.

 

In the event (and there have been several in recent years) where the "rape" actually turns out to be a malicious accusation etc and AN Other is acquitted or the charges are dismissed altogether, AN Other (let's face it - usually male) finds himself having that stigma attached to his life forever (internet never forgets) whilst Ms A can fade away unknown.

 

 

 

It would be far fairer to give both parties anonymity and only remove that from the accused in the event of them being found guilty.






antonknee
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  #2582157 10-Oct-2020 00:14
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Geektastic:

 

It would be far fairer to give both parties anonymity and only remove that from the accused in the event of them being found guilty.

 

 

This. It's an unpopular opinion, but I strongly believe name suppression should be the default until a guilty verdict is passed. Even then...

 

The court of public opinion is ruthless. I understand wanting to avoid secret courts and so on, not that I think having the name of defendant really achieves that, but honestly does knowing the name of a criminal really benefit society that much beyond a vouyeristic desire to know gossip?





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JaseNZ
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  #2582158 10-Oct-2020 00:28
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We have had a family member in that exact situation.

 

His ex wife accused him of rape and at the last minute confessed she was lying to get back at him.

 

His name was published in connection with the accusation. Now (over 5 years ago) he still has not recovered from it. Any job application or looking for somewhere to live a quick google search of his name and they just see the result and word Rape and bam stopped in his tracks.

 

As I said more often than not our name suppression orders are used in the wrong context. So much for being innocent until proven guilty, your name gets mentioned on the net and you are guilty in most peoples eyes without even knowing anything .





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Rikkitic

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  #2582179 10-Oct-2020 08:17
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In Holland names are normally never published, whether guilty or not, only initials. I don't have a problem with this, just with different rules for different folks.

 

 





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
 


 
 
 
 


Bung
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  #2582183 10-Oct-2020 08:35
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JaseNZ:

We have had a family member in that exact situation.


His ex wife accused him of rape and at the last minute confessed she was lying to get back at him.


His name was published in connection with the accusation. Now (over 5 years ago) he still has not recovered from it. Any job application or looking for somewhere to live a quick google search of his name and they just see the result and word Rape and bam stopped in his tracks.




Was the ex wife's false accusation not reported and did she face any charges? Even in less serious cases it often seems that the papers lose interest as soon as the heat goes out of a story and it is hard to find an outcome just using Google or similar.

Geektastic
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  #2582237 10-Oct-2020 11:35
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I recall being amazed when, not long after arriving in NZ, I saw a list of recently convicted drunk drivers published in the local paper!

 

 

 

May as well bring back the stocks whilst we are at it.






Rikkitic

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  #2582289 10-Oct-2020 11:57
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Geektastic:

 

I recall being amazed when, not long after arriving in NZ, I saw a list of recently convicted drunk drivers published in the local paper!

 

 

 

May as well bring back the stocks whilst we are at it.

 

 

Our paper did the same for awhile. It was something of a fashion. I don't actually have such a problem with this one. A lot of people were being killed on the roads by drunk drivers so you can't call it a victimless crime. Some drunks don't care, and will do it anyway, but the shame might act as an extra disincentive for the country club set, and that's not a bad thing.

 

 





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
 


afe66
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  #2582307 10-Oct-2020 13:05
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And the same arguements will be trotted out as last time and the time before...

JaseNZ
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  #2582311 10-Oct-2020 13:17
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Bung:

Was the ex wife's false accusation not reported and did she face any charges? Even in less serious cases it often seems that the papers lose interest as soon as the heat goes out of a story and it is hard to find an outcome just using Google or similar.

 

Yes she was charged with making a false statement to police and given 150 hours community service.

 

It was reported in the paper but was like 3/4 of the way through the paper and you would hardly notice it where as his trial was front page news and you could not miss it.

 

Also the punishment given to her was bugger all compared to the damage she done.





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