Clarification on the paedophile privacy case

April 15th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

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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27 Responses to “Clarification on the paedophile privacy case”

  1. Simon Lyall (101 comments) says:

    My question is why “Does this guy really have name suppression?” couldn’t have been found out with a simple phone call to the Justice Dept.

    Do Judges write Name Suppression Orders on random sheets of paper which they keep in their wallets?

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  2. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Oh well, I guess I just can’t take my family to stay in ANY Taupo motels until this is resolved.

    But this dirty convicted criminal’s “right to privacy” is very important…

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  3. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Interesting that if you are a young brown person from Turangi and you sexually violate a small defenseless child, everyone knows your name and you are [righly] locked up…

    But if you’re a business-type person up the road in Taupo, you can sexually abuse children 5 times and somehow your “privacy” is important enough that it’s all swept under the carpet.

    it would be interesting to know what that “somehow” is that makes this all ok…?

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  4. Chuck Bird (4,765 comments) says:

    I just heard this leftist Green lawyer (RadioLive 11:30 am) attacking the Sensible Sentencing Trust and coming out with the line that once a person has served their time they should not be hounded for life.

    http://www.facebook.com/vernon.tava

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  5. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    With all due respect to DPF, we are dancing on the head of a pin to concern ourselves with which of Palmer’s brain farts is instigating proceedings & which is following through with them. The point is that taxpayer’s hard earned money is being wasted because a low life paedophile would rather his activities weren’t open to public scrutiny.

    In some respects I hope that the fools do “instigate proceedings against” the SST. It will finally get the useless bastards heading the HRC out from under the rocks that shelter them & allow the public to see them for the waste of money & space they are.

    If DPF wants to start a Kiwiblog fighting fund for the SST count me in.

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  6. laworder (278 comments) says:

    Simon Lyall wrote

    My question is why “Does this guy really have name suppression?” couldn’t have been found out with a simple phone call to the Justice Dept.

    Do Judges write Name Suppression Orders on random sheets of paper which they keep in their wallets?

    And therein lies the core of the issue – you cannot find out with a simple phone call to the Justice Department whether or not someone has name suppression.

    They will not tell you.

    Even if you rock up to the Court in person with ID and ask, they will not tell you

    I know because I tried

    I dont know if the judiciary write name suppression orders on bits of paper that they stick in their wallets or leave floating around on the floor of their cars along with gas station receipts and burger wrappers etc, but they might as well, such is the opacity of the system

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  7. MT_Tinman (3,044 comments) says:

    Maybe the name suppression carries it’s own suppression order. :-)

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  8. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    and coming out with the line that once a person has served their time they should not be hounded for life.

    “The line” is a fair and reasonable approach. Do you think society will be better off by socially isolating people for life? Are you happy to pay these peoples living costs for life, because they can not get work?. Pay for their accomodation? Have them exist around you with no connection to the society they live in? It is a pretty malicious person who hounds someone to the grave for something done in the past, something they have done their time for.

    Of course this sort of hysterical and moronic thinking only happens around sex cases. Your probably more reasonable on other types of offending.

    The trouble is, further disconnecting kiddy fiddlers from mainstream society is likely to increase the chance of re-offending, not protect society or kids

    Use your fucking head !

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,218 comments) says:

    So many government departments. So little point to them.

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  10. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Maybe the name suppression carries it’s own suppression order.

    Entirely possible actually. It is often done to protect the identity of victims. (helps if the accussed plays footy for a living or is on the telly)

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  11. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    It is hard to tell from the ‘clarification’ whether a court order suppression is involved at all. The implication being that any publication naming an offender interferes with their privacy in the view of these under employed overpaid useless Boffins.

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  12. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    “It is a pretty malicious person who hounds someone to the grave for something done in the past”

    I was going to comment on all the lefties hounding David Garrett about the identity theft thing some decades ago, but actually you’re pretty well spot on.

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  13. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    The information was clear 2 weeks ago, most people reading the Act would understand it relates to procedure over a number of human rights and privacy issues which are related. The commentary in the media and from The Trust centres on a simple suppression order ‘yes or no,’ In fact the ‘suppression’ order might relate to the intended proceedings, part and parcel of dialogue that looks to have extended over years between the parties. There is an emotive issue here that is being deliberately waged in the public arena, but the underlying position is clear, The Privacy Commissioner’s office and the operative arm of the HRC are applying the Law and SST are saying that either the Law does’t apply to them or that they are above it. In the meantime SST simplify a mantra that they are protecting victims and the HRC is not, and what better ‘weapon’ could they use than the case of a convicted paedophile. Anyway I look forward to a record breaking number of thumbs down for bothering to read the Act instead of being incensed by unsubstantiated claims.

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  14. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    I was going to comment on all the lefties hounding David Garrett about the identity theft thing some decades ago, but actually you’re pretty well spot on.

    Yeah, because they can drop the term “baby” into it, which fires up the emotions just like sex crimes. A simple murder does not get the same response.

    I am not minimising the harm done by sex offenders, but I tend to think the chances of these things happening are reduced if people are socialised in a normal way. Many sexos have issues and normal social interaction is the best way to deal with them. Maybe if they feel a greater obligation & connection to society they will resist the urge to offend. Making these people outcasts for life is only going to further remove them from normality.

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  15. laworder (278 comments) says:

    Kea wrote

    and coming out with the line that once a person has served their time they should not be hounded for life.

    “The line” is a fair and reasonable approach. Do you think society will be better off by socially isolating people for life? Are you happy to pay these peoples living costs for life, because they can not get work?. Pay for their accomodation? Have them exist around you with no connection to the society they live in? It is a pretty malicious person who hounds someone to the grave for something done in the past, something they have done their time for.

    Of course this sort of hysterical and moronic thinking only happens around sex cases. Your probably more reasonable on other types of offending.

    The trouble is, further disconnecting kiddy fiddlers from mainstream society is likely to increase the chance of re-offending, not protect society or kids

    Actually Chuck is correct here

    Isolating these types of offenders, along with psychopaths, is the best approach long term. They are NOT amenable to treatment, and they WILL always pose a risk.

    The only real answer is as Chuck and others have implied – lock them up for life, isolate them from society. We dont need to be unnecessarily inhumane in doing so, perhaps a community could be set up in some isolated spot where they can live out some semblance of a normal life but without access to children.

    None of the so-called “treatment programmes” work in the long run, which given that this a biological condition is unsurprising.

    Paedophilia is a biological orientation, not amenable to treatment. This is one of the actual research reports by James Cantor, a leading researcher in this area; http://www.tvo.org/theagenda/resources/pdf/2008-Pedophilia%2
    0MRI.pdf. Go have a look at the MRI scans on pages 174 and 175 (yes, this is a long read).

    There is much more research demonstrating significant statistical relationships between several physical traits and paedophiliac orientation, and these traits are largely genetic. Links to those articles are at the end of this post…

    This is not a treatable or curable condition. This less technical article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophile gives a good overview, expecially the section titled Biological correlations.

    If you are sceptical of Wikipedia, I suggest following the links from the article to the sources – always a good idea if you wish to verify what is written on a Wikipedia article

    Note also the end comment of the treatment section; “A number of proposed treatment techniques for pedophilia have been developed, though the success rate of these therapies has been very low”

    Further to this, for those not wishing to wade through the Cantor report, I have put the MRI scans here
    http://www.safenz.org.nz/Image/mriscans1.jpg
    and here
    http://www.safenz.org.nz/Image/mriscans2.jpg
    The first one is a composite MRI scan of the brains of a number of paedophiles, the second is a composite MRI scan of the control subjects (i.e. normal human beings)

    A fuller run down is here http://www.safenz.org.nz/Articles/paedos.htm and If you want to look at some other sources I have listed a few here;

    Intelligence, Memory, and Handedness in Pedophilia
    http://www.tvo.org/theagenda/resources/pdf/2004-Pedo%20IQ%20
    memory%20handedness.pdf

    http://tinyurl.com/3hz9d3q

    Quantitative EEG studies of pedophilia
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016787609190036W

    http://tinyurl.com/3e6kzn5

    Pedophilia is accompanied by increased plasma concentrations of catecholamines, in particular epinephrine
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178101002682

    http://tinyurl.com/3awqwjv

    Abnormal amygdala activation profile in pedophilia
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/d821264x163x3774/

    http://tinyurl.com/3tmsn97

    Handedness, criminality, and sexual offending
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393200001342

    http://tinyurl.com/3gz3wju

    and
    http://www.crimetimes.org/01b/w01bp7.htm

    http://tinyurl.com/3o4tlbt

    Lower Baseline Plasma Cortisol and Prolactin
    together with Increased Body Temperature and
    Higher mCPP-Induced Cortisol Responses in
    Men with Pedophilia
    http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v24/n1/pdf/1395585a.pdf

    http://tinyurl.com/42ammfe

    Familial Transmission of Pedophilia
    http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/1984/09000/Is_There_F
    amilial_Transmission_of_Pedophilia_.6.aspx

    http://tinyurl.com/4xlw99e

    Hope this helps

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  16. laworder (278 comments) says:

    Just also noted this

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

    It was indeed, the case in question was the subject of an article in the current Truth

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  17. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Some misinformation there, particularly from those who fancy themselves as outhouse lawyers…So here are some facts:

    1. The Director of Human Rights Proceedings has brought proceedings under the Privacy Act against SST alleging the breach of three of the “privacy principles” contained in the Privacy Act. He has sought orders restraining the Trust from publishing information about the complainant, and unspecified damages and costs.

    2. There is no evidence of any final suppression order having been made in the District Court trial which occurred in 1995. A court Minute on the file dated 30 November 2009 – just after full details of the paedophile’s offending was published in “Truth” – records that there is no evidence of any final suppression order having been made, although it is common ground that an interim order was made at first appearance.

    3. A complainant in the 1995 case has sworn an affidavit stating that she was in court when the sentence was passed, and the paedophile was taken away. She is clear in her recollection that no final suppression order was made. She does not wish there to be any suppression order now.

    4. Contrary to one media report, there is no interim order in force made by the Human Rights Review Tribunal. Such an order has been sought by the Director, and that issue will be argued on Wednesday.

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  18. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,551) Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    ———————————

    Thank you for the summary David.

    Although I have to say, it is an ongoing issue of mine that anyone would take the ‘Truth’ coverage as an adequate and truthful indication of anything.

    Unfortunately neither is the word of the complainant a reliable source of information for obvious reasons.

    Personally I would caution restraint – when you remove both those from the equation you are left with very little. It would only take some court official remembering the granting of a suppression order and you are up the creek, so to speak.

    One area you might like to check is probation records – frequently the Court Officer for Probation would record the sentence along with any other such orders (although many did not do this) The hard file should still have the notes on it, providing the file has not been ‘cleaned’. Sometimes older irrelevant paperwork is biffed out and just the basics kept.

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  19. Chuck Bird (4,765 comments) says:

    Maybe if they feel a greater obligation & connection to society they will resist the urge to offend. Making these people outcasts for life is only going to further remove them from normality.

    Kea, I could possibly see your point in the case of a first time offender like the comedian. However, have you looked at this guy’s record?

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  20. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    I guess that’s cleared up, ‘a number of human rights and privacy issues which are related’ is not the same as a ‘breach of three of the “privacy principles” ‘

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  21. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    laworder, you may be right and probably are. However we clearly do not have the option of locking them away for life. So we have to work with what we have got in order to minimise the risk.

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  22. laworder (278 comments) says:

    We do have the option of locking them away for life. We are simply afraid or unwilling to use it, despite it being the only way to completely eliminate rather than just minimise the risk

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  23. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    You’ve been telling the board that the HRC issues with the SST is over name suppression yet you’ve known that’s not the case Peter J, that it is in fact far more reaching.

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  24. laworder (278 comments) says:

    Where the case is currently at, it IS all about the existence or otherwise of the name suppression order. Certainly later on down the line other factors will come into to play notably the so called “privacy” of offenders like the one in this case, which will be far more interesting, particularly in view of the following taken from the Privacy Commission’s own website here;
    http://www.privacy.org.nz/about-us/about-privacy/


    However, although privacy is important, it is not absolute. Other important social interests can be more important than privacy in particular circumstances. All privacy laws make allowances for other social interests such as:

    preventing crime
    ensuring safety
    ensuring that courts get information to make their decisions.

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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  25. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    laworder (187) Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 10:58 pm
    We do have the option of locking them away for life. We are simply afraid or unwilling to use it, despite it being the only way to completely eliminate rather than just minimise the risk
    ————————————–

    You will never eliminiate the risk paedophillia poses to society. Because it is psychological there will always be the possibility of it occurring. Please keep it real and don’t promise something which is impossible to achieve.

    You can kill one paedophile but there will always be more out there, what we need is to re-evaluate how we recognise and deal with the issue of paedophillia so that it becomes a treatable illness for which those suffering from it are able to openly seek assistance before they begin to practice the behaviour associated with the initial urges and harm young children.

    The death penalty will only make paedophiles desperate and ensure their victims don’t live to reveal their identity.

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  26. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    ‘ensuring safety’

    Very important Peter, such as the safety of people being able to get on with their lives without un-vetted, un-legislated groups holding or using information (which may very well be incorrect) maliciously, in fact breaking the Law. The privacy laws seem more than adequate to ensure a balance between privacy and the public interest, danger, etc in fact that is their design. I would have thought working within the law was a priority to achieve the designs you set out above.

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  27. laworder (278 comments) says:

    Judith, you are correct in saying we can never eliminate the risk paedophillia poses to society in general – but we CAN eliminate the risk posed by any specific offender by not releasing them upon the community, or at the very least giving the community the information they need to manage the risk.

    Who mentioned the death penalty? If you read what I said, I am talking about isolating them for life, not killing them. As I posted earlier, this could be done by setting up some sort of community for them where they have a semblance of a normal life, can work etc, but without access to children. Given that there is no possibility of treatment at this time (genetic engineering etc may alter this in the future) we do need to find a solution that is reasonably humane but does not put the wider community at risk.

    I totally agree that killing them is NOT a viable solution.

    A publically accessible database is a poor substitute for the above ideal solution, but its better than nothing at all

    As for the privacy concerns Nostalgia has raised, the rights of the wider community must always trump the rights of offenders, especially in matters relating to privacy. This is what this case will put to the test amongst other things, that is if the HRC do decide to take it all the way. The ideal outcome would be that the government undertakes to make criminal records for such offenders publically accessible as is done elsewhere, and the Trust would no longer need to run its databases.

    Regards
    Peter J
    see http://www.sensiblesentencing.org.nz

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