Merit in national suppression register - Power
Justice Minister Simon Power sees merit in having a national register of suppression orders but says plenty of issues have to be worked through.Announcing proposals to tighten the criteria for name suppression, Mr Power said the Ministry of Justice would
Justice Minister Simon Power sees merit in having a national register of suppression orders but says plenty of issues have to be worked through.
Announcing proposals to tighten the criteria for name suppression, Mr Power said the Ministry of Justice would continue to consider ways of helping the media to comply with suppression orders, including developing a national register.
The issues to be resolved include deciding who has access to the register, the cost of running it and the practicalities of keeping it up to date.
"In addition, officials are monitoring an existing High Court procedure by which media can ask the court for suppression orders relating to certain cases to be emailed to them during the trial. Expanding this to the District Court is being considered."
But the national Media Freedom Committee said it was disappointed in the lack of action over setting up a national register.
"The Media Freedom Committee, and the Law Commission in its report on suppression, argue for an electronic register, updated in real time and available to newsrooms by password only, to record all non-publication orders made in the country's courts," committee chairman Tim Murphy said.
"At the moment no one in the criminal justice system, whether they be police, Crown lawyers, court officials, media or defendants can tell what is suppressed and what is not across the court system at any one point in time," Mr Murphy said.
"The technology is available to achieve a live register, like parts of Australia, to eliminate mistakes or omissions from those covering the courts."
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