Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Behaving badly at the bottom of town

124 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    I am only mentioning the length, not making any comment about what happened.

    Thank goodness for that. Made my blood boil, quite frankly, hearing about that jury.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I take it. Good.

    And to be fair to you, I've reviewed my Tweets on the subject and you probably didn't see where I spelled that out at considerable length over the next hour or so because they were in the forms of replies to others you probably didn't see.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Russell Brown,

    [Graeme] I cannot see the reason for a judge alone trial being anything other than “the trial is likely to take three months, and the chance that with a jury that it would be more complicated, and take longer, and possibly have to be abandoned would be substantially higher than normal”.

    Pretty good guess. It seems the defence argued in its turn that decisions made by a judge only would be less readily accepted.

    It does strike me that the judge could have revealed more … even if only by structuring the text of the original decision to facilitate that course.

    What baffles me is why on earth the judge would continue the suppression of the reasoning for the ‘judge only’ trial ruling, if it were for such a straightforward reason.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    What baffles me is why on earth the judge would continue the suppression of the reasoning for the ‘judge only’ trial ruling, if it were for such a straightforward reason.

    I understand that there is to be an appeal. This probably isn't surprising.

    I also note that the suppression of this judgment is at the request of the defence, not the prosecution.

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

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Come come, there's no need to bring up that book by Henry Rider Haggard.

    But that's where you're wrong, my friend! It's always time to bring up that book by Henry Rider Haggard. And yes, I do have posters of Ayesha up on my wall.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Re the Urewera 18, I think the issue is that the couple dozen people in the national media - morning report producers, political editors, news editors at the dom-post or the press - who would realise the significance of the decision and run stories on it, are all away on holiday. If they'd been around and run the story then the Herald et al would realise it had significance and match it, but in the absence of editorial direction the news is basically just celebrities, weather and car crashes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    And PAS does it again. Manages to turn a frivolous news story into one of gravitas. What would I do without you?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    If I where to be charged with terrorism related offenses, I would most likely elect to be judged by somebody like Graham Edgeler, Rather than a random and anonymous assortment of twelve Public Address contributers. This is because Graham would have more incentive to get his assessment of the evidence technically correct. After all, we know who he is, and his reputation. And his ruling would come with a written rational, dated then signed. I would assume.

    I know that this doesn’t address the problem under discussion, but I offer this news article: Sea Shepherd claims whaling victory. It is sort of terrorism depending on emotional sorts of reactions.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Unrelated but lovely turn of phrase from Jim Eagles about our teflon PM:

    It's not just that if he fell down a sewer he'd emerge with a smoked salmon in his mouth - though he would - but also that he'd exit smiling and waving, announce an inquiry, mumble something about the time he fell into a septic tank as a boy, and win compliments on his deodorant.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I the Judgey-Pants...
    One imagines the Powers-That-Be, (and especially Simon Power), would be worried that a jury might return a vox pop decision, such as the freeing of Waihopai 3... (a result I was delighted in by the way)

    ...these selfsame PTB would also be worried about seeming to take a backward step on (drum roll) Terrorism! (or such as it is perceived to be in NZ in this, the first tenth of the 21st century) - witness the USA's dilemma with Obama, on inauguration, pledging to close the Guantanamo Bay retribution facility within a year - a month short, he announces it won't close - largely due to the way people ended up there and the Americans' inability to enter due judicial process - their old, and sad, "do as I say, not as I do" routine will ultimately undo them.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7947 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Back on topic, Paul Buchanan weighs in.
    About the process:

    On October 15, 2007 a number of individuals were arrested on a variety of charges, including planning terrorist attacks. Others were arrested later, and collectively they have come to be known as the Urewera 18. On May 30, 2011, three and half years after they were arrested, the majority of these defendants will finally go to trial (three defendants will be tried separately). Not only is the delay largely a result of the Police and Crown trying to introduce new charges after the fact and argue for the admissibility of evidence obtained under the Terrorism Suppression Act that was ultimately not invoked against the accused.

    Now, in a decision which has had its reasoning suppressed by the court, the Urewera 15 have been ordered to have a trial by judge. You read correctly: not only have they been denied the right to a prompt trial but are now denied a jury of their peers.

    To that can be added holding the trial in Auckland when most of the defendants live elsewhere and their purported crimes were committed outside of Auckland.

    Between the delays, venue and judge-only trial, the Crown and judiciary is engaging in a blood-letting exercise designed to drain the defendants materially and emotionally long before they enter the courtroom on May 30.

    And about the media silence:

    Why is this? Is this silence a result of the fact that the accused are an ideological minority that are easy to scapegoat and persecute? If so, that is exactly the reason why the full spectrum of democratic commentators should be protesting the case: in a democracy it is not mainstream, “normal,” “nice guys” who deserve the most legal protection and rights of redress.

    It is the ideologically suspect, reprehensible, marginalised, ostracized or otherwise outcast who deserve the full protections of law precisely because they are at the mercy of the majority–a majority that is often ill-informed or manipulated by authorities when it comes to evaluating the merits of any given case against anti-status quo political activists. The majority may rule, but free, fair and impartial trials are the minority’s best bulwark against its tyranny.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Re the Urewera 18, I think the issue is that the couple dozen people in the national media – morning report producers, political editors, news editors at the dom-post or the press – who would realise the significance of the decision and run stories on it, are all away on holiday.

    Is that really a good excuse? When important stuff happens, in defiance of statutory holidays, there are no senior staff to call on? How come Idiot/Savant, Russell, Paul Buchanan, et al, are hard at work in the public interest, holiday or no holiday, and those whose papers we pay actual money for simply can't be arsed?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Is that really a good excuse? When important stuff happens, in defiance of statutory holidays, there are no senior staff to call on?

    There are. If John Key resigns then a whole lot of reporters would have to cut short their holidays and crawl back to work. But this isn't really that important.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    a majority that is often ill-informed or manipulated

    Jeez, its a bit early in the year to be giving out get out of jail free cards for all the dumbass's.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    If John Key resigns then a whole lot of reporters would have to cut short their holidays and crawl back to work. But this isn’t really that important.

    It’d be even more important if Labour had won the 2008 election, and Clark were still PM. Unless I’ve somehow missed it, Key isn’t on record as having expressed a political interest in finding the defendants as guilty as possible.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Lilith __,

    Is that really a good excuse? When important stuff happens, in defiance of statutory holidays, there are no senior staff to call on? How come Idiot/Savant, Russell, Paul Buchanan, et al, are hard at work in the public interest, holiday or no holiday, and those whose papers we pay actual money for simply can’t be arsed?

    I/S, Russell, Paul, and all the others, have been very, very circumspect about what they've said. The suppression order is very broad, and very vague. At its widest interpretation, saying that it suppresses discussion of what it suppresses could be a breach. With that in mind, the skeleton editorial staff in place at major media outlets, the kinds of outlets that are prone to be the focus of contempt of court proceedings, will be very hesitant to publish comment on a matter that cannot be vetted by the doubtless-on-holiday senior legal staff.
    As I said above, this matter can wait another couple of weeks. The law that allows it changed several years ago, and the trial won't be for a number of months. It's not a breaking story that'll be all over before the lawyers get back from Omaha and Pauanui and can cast their lawsuit-avoidance detectors over the copy.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    the skeleton editorial staff in place at major media outlets, the kinds of outlets that are prone to be the focus of contempt of court proceedings, will be very hesitant to publish comment on a matter that cannot be vetted by the doubtless-on-holiday senior legal staff.

    OK, but stories of alleged celebrities allegedly behaving badly could also be in contempt of court as well as defamatory. The skeleton staff can handle that but not the other?

    Obviously one story is in the public interest and the other is, unfathomably, of interest to the public.

    Bloggers can also be charged with contempt, as we know....but if our local bloggers can manage to be circumspect, I fail to see why paid journos can't.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Lilith __,

    OK, but stories of alleged celebrities allegedly behaving badly could also be in contempt of court as well as defamatory. The skeleton staff can handle that but not the other?

    umm, they could only be contempt if the suppression order forbade talking about the case. Which would not be normal with name suppression. The rules around name suppression are understood by newsrooms, because they crop up frequently. Similarly it can't be defamatory if the person isn't identified. That's a pretty basic aspect of defamation: you can't defame someone unless you identify who you're discussing.

    Suppression of the reasons behind the order, and discussion of the order, is an entirely different kettle of fish. It's very novel, and the rules around reporting on it likely haven't ever been contemplated.

    As for bloggers, yes, I'm familiar with the Oily Cetacean's case. That was pretty dramatic, though, and he went out of his way to breach suppression orders. Most bloggers aren't that arrogant.

    You don't seem to quite grasp the fundamental level of risk aversion that prevails in most MSM newsrooms most of the time. If it could get the editor fined or jailed, it's going to be subjected to careful legal scrutiny. Bloggers will say far less about the topic and take their chances. Note that Scoop redacted a lot of the press release because they considered that it breached the order.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    From here;

    12. In New Zealand, whether or not a case is heard by a jury rather than a judge alone depends on the type of offence, as well as discretionary decisions by the prosecution and defence. Offences in New Zealand are typically organised into the following categories:
    • Charges that must be laid indictably: these charges are the most serious criminal offences and are automatically tried by a jury.
    • Charges that may be laid indictably or summarily at the discretion of the prosecution (‘summary/indictable discretionary’):
    o Prosecutionlaysindictably:trialbyjuryisautomatic; o Prosecution lays summarily: the defendant has a discretion to elect trial
    by jury or to remain in the summary jurisdiction (where trial will be by way of defended hearing)
    • Charges which must be laid summarily but have a maximum sentence of imprisonment of more than 3 months:1 the defendant has a right to elect trial by jury or to remain in the summary jurisdiction (where trial will be by way of defended hearing)
    • Charges which must be laid summarily where the maximum sentence is less than 3 months imprisonment: trial by defended hearing is automatic.
    13. There are some limited exceptions to the right to trial by jury. In particular, the right to elect a trial by jury is specifically excluded for the Summary Offences Act offences of common assault and assault on a police, prison or traffic officer.
    2 In addition, since 2008, there has been a judicial discretion to require a case to be heard by Judge alone in cases which are likely to be long and complex,3 and cases in which there is a significant risk of jury intimidation.

    Emphasis added. Seems somewhat relevant, and indicates not necessarily specific to this case. Not saying I agree, but they could claim to be following process.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    but they could claim to be following process.

    Yes. I don't think that's been in dispute. There is a power to hold a judge alone trial, even where the defendant wants a jury. This is recent.

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

  • John Holley,

    The question I have is, what happens to those who have identified him on Twitter?

    We may never publicly know his name, but lots know! (When you jump up and down on a car, even if it is your wife's, in Auckland and are a public identity, people recognise you!) This raises the adequacy/relevance of our suppression laws in this digital age of social media.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I watched television last night for the first time in ages. What struck me most was that the creativity in the advertising has crapped out.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to steven crawford,

    I watched television last night for the first time in ages. What struck me most was that the creativity in the advertising has crapped out.

    Dumb is cyclical. Just because it happens to be big at the moment doesn’t mean that any old tosser can be an agency creative. It takes a special tosser. As any meatworks manager will confirm, a good Judas sheep is worth its weight in Veuve Clicquot.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to John Holley,

    It gets really murky. If your tweet or re-tweet was posted before the suppression order was in place, then you cannot be in breach because there was nothing to breach when you posted. However, once the order's in place you're getting into all kinds of grey by having them still available. The MSM tends to retroactively censor suppressed material and then argue with the courts about the order.

    It does demonstrate the need to review suppression law, since, as you say, if you act like a twatcock in public and you're recognisable it's probably going up on twitter and/or Facebook before your blood pressure's even back to normal. Once that happens, the cat's out of the bag. For circumstances that don't happen in public, though, a suppression order is still of use since it can be granted before any solid information about the alleged crimes is easily available.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.