Clarification on the paedophile privacy case

Steven Price blogs:

I confess I’m entirely befuddled by the Dominion Post’s front-page lead on Saturday, “Prosecution for breaching paedophile’s rights”. Can someone help me out here?

Isn’t the story conflating the Commission with the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, an independent office within the HRC? But why is the Office of Human Rights Proceedings bringing a “prosecution”? Does the DomPost mean a claim before the Human Rights Review Tribunal (it seems so, since it mentions the Tribunal later on)? That’s not a prosecution, which is a criminal action.

Or is it a charge that the Sensible Sentencing Trust has breached name suppression? Now, that would be a criminal prosecution, but why isn’t it being brought by the police?

If it’s a Human Rights Proceedings Office case, it sounds like a Privacy Act claim, and not a charge for breach of name suppression at all (some of the language in the story suggests it’s about the Privacy Act, though the Act gets barely a mention in the story). That would also suggest that the has already been involved and either refused to uphold the complaint or couldn’t reach a settlement with the Sensible Sentencing Trust. That would be interesting to know.

And the has clarified:

A story published by The Dominion Post on Saturday 6 April “Prosecution for breaching pervert’s rights” and on Stuff.co.nz requires clarification.

The statement that the Human Rights Commission plans to prosecute the Sensible Sentencing Trust needs to be clarified.

The Director of Human Rights Proceedings is instituting proceedings under the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act requires the Director, at his discretion, to make the decision as to whether to institute proceedings.

The Director of Human Rights Proceedings is acting on a referral from the Privacy Commissioner that the Sensible Sentencing Trust interfered with an individual’s privacy.

This is quite important info. As far as I can tell, this matter doesn’t involve any of the Human Rights Commissioners. The agency that appears to be behind this issue is the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

This whole issue is quite convoluted. The man’s identity was actually published in Truth in 2009, and I believe again last week.

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