The Human Wrongs Commission?

April 6th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Phil Kitchin at Stuff reports:

The plans to prosecute the for breaching a serial paedophile’s privacy.

I’m speechless.

It stems from the trust printing the man’s name and details of his offending on its website. The commission says this breaches his privacy because the trust does not mention that he has .

However, neither the paedophile nor the commission have been able to supply a court record to prove he has name suppression.

Which is rather important. I don’t think taking the paedophile’s word for it is a good idea.

In January, the present commission director, Robert Kee, wrote to the trust saying it had not ensured it was publishing accurate information when it put the paedophile’s convictions on its website.

Publishing the information without referring to “the fact there is a suppression order” breached the man’s privacy, Mr Kee said.

But three paragraphs later, Mr Kee said he agreed with a judge’s minute that said there is “no record on the file of a final suppression order” being made.

He said the sentencing judge’s written decision was missing, but he believed the Human Rights Review Tribunal “could find on the balance of probabilities that there was a suppression order”.

Balance of probabilities? Not good enough. If you can’t find one, there isn’t one.

On one side of the case is the taxpayer-funded Human Rights Commission, which includes the Office of Human Rights Proceedings and prosecutes cases under the Privacy Act.

On the other side is the Sensible Sentencing Trust, staffed by volunteers and funded by donations.

In the middle is the convicted paedophile, a 58-year-old Wellington man whose offending is alleged to have spanned 14 years.

He was jailed for a year in 1995 on five counts of committing indecent acts on two girls aged 10 and 14.

At the same trial he was acquitted of a further two charges of rape and four charges of indecent assault on young girls.

Twenty years earlier he was charged and acquitted in three separate rape trials.

He also has a conviction for careless driving causing death.

The man lost his job as a chief executive when members of his organisation learned of his sex offending. Documents obtained by The Dominion Post from members of the organisation said he had access to children in his work and had lied about being employed when he was in prison.

I know which side I am on. If this proceeds, I’ll be happy to solicit donations from readers for the Sensible Sentencing Trust on this issue. You don’t have to agree with everything the SST says or does to be appalled by this prosecution.

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71 Responses to “The Human Wrongs Commission?”

  1. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Lindsay Perigo in his Free Radical magazine were calling them that 15 odd years ago for their retarded crap….seems nothings changed.

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  2. dishy (234 comments) says:

    As you note, there is either a suppression order or there is not. If there’s one that’s not where it should be – one that’s been concealed – it can hardly count as an order, can it? This is woeful idiocy. And not on the balance of probabilities either, but beyond all reasonable doubt. Twats.

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  3. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    Whether there is name suppression depends on whether the victims could be identified through their connection with the offender. Obviously if they were the offenders children then name suppression is likely. The issue of name suppression can be easily found out from court records. But it is the privacy of the victims which is at stake here not the offender’s.

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  4. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    There’s seems to be a very obvious reason why the HRC believe that on the BOP a suppression order exists.

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  5. Shunda barunda (2,972 comments) says:

    Well they prosecuted a West Coast area school for ‘moving on’ a transient living on school property, so this is hardly surprising.

    Just more evidence that concept of human rights is being run rough shod over by the liberal progressive elite, this lovely little commission is what they would dearly love a future government to be like.

    Here’s the other story.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7538726/School-to-pay-10-000-for-hurt

    But to really put that in correct context you need to read this, it was an interest piece for several international media organizations:

    http://mg.co.za/article/2005-01-25-man-hid-in-church-roof-for-seven-years

    The human rights commission, looking after transients since (insert date here).

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  6. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    “The balance of probabilities…” Really!

    Does anyone know for certain, are HRC court proceedings criminal or civil?

    Balance of Probabilities is a civil test.

    Breaking a suppression order (if there is one) is a criminal offence (well, at least contempt of court), is it not?

    So we now have, according to HRC “thinking” a hybrid “offence”, do we not?

    Do we really want the HRC embarking on this crap?

    NO!

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  7. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    The Human Rights Commission seems to have a thing about protecting creeps, weirdos and potential (and known) paedophiles.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7538726/School-to-pay-10-000-for-hurt
    “An “intensely intellectual” man who lived in a camouflaged van on school grounds has been awarded $10,000 in damages after he was moved on by police.”

    and

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7779571/Jobless-battler-takes-on-Winz-for-a-3-cause
    “Human Rights Tribunal ruled Holmes had suffered substantial humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings. It ordered Winz to pay a total of $17,000 in damages.”

    The HRT must be full of the biggest and stupidest far left-wing losers that would make the Curran, Fenton and Norman seem rational. It must be the place judges go when they feel that the NZ justice system is far too harsh on criminals.

    I absolutely hate that organisation. They have nothing at all to do with human rights. They are just pathological lefties.

    Get rid of it. Then once Devoy leaves, get rid of the Race Relations one. That’s a nice dent in our national debt right there.

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  8. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Name suppression is given for very good reasons in these cases and that is to protect the victims. The offenders identity is only kept secret, because in knowing that, the victim/s are revealed.

    It appears SST couldn’t really give a stuff about them. Their inane desire to reveal all, without a single thought to others is pathetic.

    I realise there is an argument regarding the protection of possible future victims by revealing the name, but seriously how many people read SST’s site – there are thousands that don’t, and therefore thousands of children who are not protected from the offender. It’s a very poor level of protection that does not warrant breaching court orders or harming the victims further.

    It’s time someone took that organisation to task. Their system is inefficient, incomplete, and inadequate. They offer no or little protection to the innocent victims – it is time for a government administered sex offenders list – where ALL sex offenders are noted, and information is provided in a supervised manner by competent professionals and provided to those to ‘need to know’.

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  9. marcw (238 comments) says:

    The Police have hardly covered themselves in glory on this too – sacked an officer and paid compensation to this POS.

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  10. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Judith

    I understand that name suppression doesn’t exist in the USA & these creeps have their identities exposed because the public have a right to know.

    Is there any solid evidence that the unnamed children there suffer because of this or are we as usual the vanguard of the “be nice to crims” socialist lunacy?

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  11. Nookin (3,185 comments) says:

    Judith says

    “Name suppression is given for very good reasons in these cases and that is to protect the victims. The offenders identity is only kept secret, because in knowing that, the victim/s are revealed.

    It appears SST couldn’t really give a stuff about them. Their inane desire to reveal all, without a single thought to others is pathetic. ”

    While I agree that this argument is valid in the context of the name suppression debate, is it valid in the context of the offender’s privacy? The purpose of name suppression (if it existed at all in this case) may well have been to protect the victim and not to preserve the privacy of the offender. It would be truly anomalous if an offender could get compensation for breach of perceived privacy when the sole purpose of the suppression was not to protect him but was to protect the person he victimised.

    In answer to the comment about whether Sensible Sentencing Trust gives a stuff about the victims, I think it would be helpful to see the context. For example, the publication may have recorded that Joe Bloggs has a series of specified convictions for indecent assault including the one, for example, in 2002. Does that fact lead to the identification of the victim? Arguably not. That being the case, why would the Human Rights Commission take the view that there is a breach of privacy?

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  12. theodoresteel (91 comments) says:

    If there is a supression order then presumably it is there for a reaaon and this is entirely reasonable. The SST cant just break the law because it feels like it. Article isnt very clear as to whether this is actually court proceedings or just HRRT case.

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  13. Nick K (1,138 comments) says:

    Two points:

    1. How can an organisation be prosecuted? Will it be the secretary of the organisation who takes the rap?
    2. Are the Left going to now applaud the appointment of Robert Kee after criticising it earlier because he “knew” Judith Collins?

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  14. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Nookin (2,456) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 11:38 am
    —————————-

    Unfortunately the problem is that the law backs up ANY breach of name suppression in such a way.

    His name was suppressed (presumably) and therefore, regardless of the reasons (and we are all just speculating on that) it is not allowed to be published. I understand he, as an offender, should not have his privacy balanced against protecting others, but that is irrelevant. The court said it was not to happen and that is the end of the story.

    I don’t understand where it is a Human Rights issue – it’s contempt of court as Flipper pointed out.

    Regarding the identification of the victim by publishing the offenders name – of course it may identify the victim. They could share the same name, be related, have lived in the same house etc. If for example when the case was reported in the newspaper it had said a man with name suppression was convicted for sexually assaulting his next door neighbours 6 year old – the publishing of his name would allow someone who knew where he lived to identify who that victim was. It may also identify his children – who maybe not have been victims of sexual assault, but who would suffer if it was known. Its a very complicated area – but the courts don’t issue name suppression unless there is a damn good reason.

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  15. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    You have to ask the question: why do governments fund these useless quangos, home of liberals, left-wingers and progressives?

    What does it take to abolish the HRC? Now!

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  16. Graeme Edgeler (3,277 comments) says:

    The Human Rights Commission and the Office of Human Rights Proceedings do not have prosecutorial powers.

    What is being alleged is not an offence.

    The Human Rights Review Tribunal does not try offences.

    This story makes no sense at all.

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  17. kowtow (7,955 comments) says:

    Most of these commissions are a waste of time and taxpayers ‘ (very scarce) money.

    Well past time to harden up and cut public debt and spending.

    Get rid of them.

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  18. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    As far as I know this isn’t a criminal prosecution so BOP applies. The pleadings haven’t been filed so the content of them is only speculation, the reporting to this point is abysmal particularly about the ‘suppression’ question which has obvious answers. This could be the tip of the iceberg, there is anecdotal evidence that could show the SST publish what they like, with no verifying processes and no lawful authority that a Government agency might have with appropriate legislation. There is also anecdotal evidence that material is published vindictively and without ensuring it’s accuracy, that’s all before even reaching the point as to whom the published material might effect beyond the alleged offender. There seems to be proof that SST will publish on the ‘say so’ of it’s members or associates without applying any critical tests or weighing up the consequences. The extent of this case will be very interesting.

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  19. ChardonnayGuy (1,187 comments) says:

    While I utterly despise pedophiles, there is the due process of law to go through. Even vermin and scum like perpetrators of child rape are entitled to a fair trial, presentation of evidence of their crimes, evaluation and adjudication. However, I am also firmly in favour of lengthened duration sentences for pedophiles should they be found guilty of their abhorrent, monstrous and reprehensible crimes against the vulnerable and innocent. I am also in favour of the re-evaluation and narrowing of permissible name suppression criteria in this context as well. One hopes that the Police and Justice Ministers give the latter proposal serious and detailed consideration.

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  20. civil serpent (22 comments) says:

    Knowing something of the detail of this case I can say that Graeme E is absolutely correct about the procedural aspects and Nostalgia ie unerringly right on the money about the legal principles. Hmmmm. Why would the Police sack (and prosecute) a cop for passing information on unless there was something dodgy about the information?

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  21. questions (186 comments) says:

    I hope Garth McViccar rots in jail for contempt of court…

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  22. peterwn (3,215 comments) says:

    ‘questions’ – the ‘complainant’ has probably been down the ‘contempt’ path, but f there is no suppression order then there is no contempt.

    I consider it objectionable that legislation has set up ‘kangaroo courts’ under the aegis of potentially biased organisations – what is wrong with using the ordinary District Court structure.

    IMO John Key and Judith Collins should dismantle that ‘court’. It is about time the lefties were annoyed more.

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  23. flipper (3,847 comments) says:

    It seems that the most civil of serpents has opened a can of worms, so to speak.

    Good stuff!

    But questions regarding HRC actions should be answered, promptly.

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  24. OneTrack (2,834 comments) says:

    “However, neither the paedophile nor the commission have been able to supply a court record to prove he has name suppression.”

    Shouldn’t our vaunted media (and some of the commenters here) establish FIRST whether there is a suppression order or not. FFS.

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  25. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    Methinks complaints about the SST Offenders List would most likely come from those with an axe to grind…

    Clearly some people forget the key point that the SST only lists on its website convicted criminals – murderers, sex offenders, paedophiles, thugs, etc. No conviction = no name on the list. Sorted. :D

    And I also note there is a ‘remedy’ available – if a VICTIM objects to someone being named on the website (because it identifies the victim), the VICTIM can request the name removed. But the offender cannot make such a request.

    Sounds perfectly reasonable.

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  26. sassycassy (45 comments) says:

    [name deleted by DPF as interim name supression has been granted while the case is before the Human Rights Tribunal] is now back on http://www.sst.org.nz as he does not have name suppression. The offender database never reveals victims and information is collected from (non suppressed) court documentation. This offender is at large in Lower Hutt and as a mother- I am grateful to know who he is in the event that our paths should ever cross. I understabd that he was fired from his job once they knew of his past -owing that he had contact with children – a fair call i say

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  27. muggins (3,311 comments) says:

    Elaycee (3,387) Says:

    April 6th, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    Methinks complaints about the SST Offenders List would most likely come from those with an axe to grind…

    Clearly some people forget the key point that the SST only lists on its website convicted criminals – murderers, sex offenders, paedophiles, thugs, etc. No conviction = no name on the list. Sorted.

    And I also note there is a ‘remedy’ available – if a VICTIM objects to someone being named on the website (because it identifies the victim), the VICTIM can request the name removed. But the offender cannot make such a request.

    Sounds perfectly reasonable.

    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me as well.

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  28. metcalph (1,410 comments) says:

    If the information about the person is incorrect as some people here are suggesting then the appropriate action is defamation, not breach of privacy, and the HRC wouldn’t be involved.

    The HRC can take cases (if mediation has failed) to the Human Rights Review Tribunal which has the ability to hear privacy complaints involving the Privacy Act of 1993. They can award compensation of up to $200,000 although the largest amount so far has been $40,000 under the Privacy Act and can also issue restraining orders and the like.

    That said, taking someone to court on the basis of a suppression order that exists on the balance of probabilities is rather far-fetched.

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  29. Chuck Bird (4,773 comments) says:

    It is possible that there may have been a suppression order issued by some incompetent and/or corrupt judge looking after a mate – not likely but possible.

    There is not a rule that tells judges what they must record in writing. I know because it happened to me in the High Court on a civil matter and it a lazy incompetent and even possibly corrupt judge looking after one of his own has cost me thousands because he fail to put his minute/direction in writing.

    If this guy had a suppression order he should not so it is up to him to prove he has one.

    Does anyone know what the annual budget is for the useless HRC

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  30. David Garrett (6,786 comments) says:

    Well, lots of interesting speculation there. I am acting for the Sensible Sentencing Trust in this matter. For that reason, I am limited in what I can say, and this will probably be my only contribution to this thread.

    Graeme E: I am looking at a Memorandum of Counsel from the Director of Human Rights Proceedings in which he says he “is intending to file proceedings in this Tribunal [the Human Rights Review Tribunal] pursuant to ss 66 and 82 of the Privacy Act 1993 next week.” So whether the proceedings are criminal, quasi-criminal, or civil, he is filing them.

    Despite extensive efforts on behalf of SST, the Privacy Commissioner, and Mr Kee’s predecessor, no final suppression order in this case has been uncovered. The only official statement is contained in a Minute of the District Court in Christchurch where the case was heard. It reads:

    “While there was an order for interim name suppression…there is no record of a continuation of that Order past the next appearance on 10 June 1994. There is no record of a final suppression Order being made.”

    We will be putting the Director of Human Rights Proceedings to proof on the existence of this supposed suppression Order.

    Judith: See above

    Questions: I would quit now before you make a bigger fool of yourself.

    Brian: What the hell do you know? See advice to questions.

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  31. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    ‘Why would the Police sack (and prosecute) a cop for passing information on unless there was something dodgy about the information?’

    Shows the police were keen to sort things out without fear or favour and unwilling to be aligned with an organisation that could for example be using false or misrepresented ‘information’ maliciously and without concern for the consequences as to the person involved or others. The police also obviously vet their members carefully, obey legislation and the law. The concept of ‘self-indemnity’ is taking on more importance in publishing world wide, to the point that is largely abandoned as being seen as a potential defence. There are big clues here about the ‘fear or favour’ aspect and the actual attempt of the administration of ‘self indemnity’ it’s got to look the part, be consistent and considered, have fair remedies – placing the onus of some person or persons potentially effected by published material that hasn’t been properly confirmed and researched or which may not be time relevant is likely to be seen as wholly unreasonable. Throw into the mix how the information is being used, where it was provided from and who actually disseminates the information and there may be a clue why the police action-ed a remedy.

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  32. Graeme Edgeler (3,277 comments) says:

    Graeme E: I am looking at a Memorandum of Counsel from the Director of Human Rights Proceedings in which he says he “is intending to file proceedings in this Tribunal [the Human Rights Review Tribunal] pursuant to ss 66 and 82 of the Privacy Act 1993 next week.” So whether the proceedings are criminal, quasi-criminal, or civil, he is filing them.

    I’ve no doubt someone may be filing proceedings.

    But it is not a prosecution.

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  33. Keeping Stock (10,181 comments) says:

    I wonder if Phil Kitchin sees the irony of a reference to the late Greg King in a privacy matter? After all, it’s not that long since Kitchin is alleged (and has never actually denied) to have sought comment from Greg King and from his wife/law partner on the morning of the day that King disappeared, to be found dead the next day.

    There was nothing wrong with what Kitchin did, but the Dom-Post’s denials of the fact in the light of King’s demise made it look bad.

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  34. Chuck Bird (4,773 comments) says:

    This is the same HRC that gets involved if someone make a racist comment against a racial minority but ignores racist comments from the likes of Hone or Annette Sykes?

    This in the same organization which make submission over any claim of injustice to homosexuals but ignores discrimination against heterosexual males. A case in point would be Air NZ’s policy of telling male they cannot sit beside an unaccompanied minor. A clear case of discrimination where British Airways changed their policy but mainly state owned Air NZ carries on and the HRC refuses to do anything.

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  35. Kimble (4,417 comments) says:

    I have no problem with that policy, Chuck.

    Children are more intimidated by male strangers than they are by female strangers.

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  36. RuthM (6 comments) says:

    Hi team – thanks for all the good discussion concerning this complete waste of tax payers money.

    Should anyone wish to help Sensible Sentencing fund this cause we have set up the follow account:

    Human Rights Fighting Fund
    12 3136 0460 763 00

    Ridiculous that we all have to pitch in for the greater good but there you have it – sad but true – the criminals seem to have all the rights as opposed to the victims (of which [name deleted by DPF] has numerous)

    Thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to assist. Ruth Money | Sensible Sentencing Trust

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  37. laworder (278 comments) says:

    theodoresteel wrote


    If there is a supression order then presumably it is there for a reaaon and this is entirely reasonable. The SST cant just break the law because it feels like it.

    Yes, it would be entirely reasonable if such a suppression order did in fact exist, but no proof of same has been presented to date and the HRC certainly has had the opportunity to do so

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

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  38. laworder (278 comments) says:

    Elaycee wrote

    Methinks complaints about the SST Offenders List would most likely come from those with an axe to grind…

    Clearly some people forget the key point that the SST only lists on its website convicted criminals – murderers, sex offenders, paedophiles, thugs, etc. No conviction = no name on the list. Sorted.

    And I also note there is a ‘remedy’ available – if a VICTIM objects to someone being named on the website (because it identifies the victim), the VICTIM can request the name removed. But the offender cannot make such a request.

    Sounds perfectly reasonable.

    Exactly, however in addition I will point out that some offenders can make a request for removal if they keep their nose clean as per the conditions set out here;
    http://www.safenz.org.nz/Data/contract.htm

    We do very ocassionally get requests for removal by a victim, but these are rare, I can only recall two such instances in the ten or so years the databases have been operating, both of which were acted upon promptly.

    Whenever we are advised that name suppression applies the file is pulled and a request for confirmation is then made. Unfortunately no process exists within the system for confirming the existence or non-existence of a name suppression order

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

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  39. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    This in the same organization which make submission over any claim of injustice to homosexuals but ignores discrimination against heterosexual males. A case in point would be Air NZ’s policy of telling male they cannot sit beside an unaccompanied minor.

    How is this discrimination against heterosexual males?
    If anything it is discrimination against males, regardless of sexual orientation.

    So your comparison should be male vs female and not homosexual vs heterosexual.

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  40. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    Can i please cut to the chase and ask the simple question: “Why do we have name suppression?”

    I can think of only one circumstance where it MIGHT be warranted – and that is to conceal from public knowledge the name of a victim of a sexual offence who may be related to the offender. But when I read/hear some of the pathetic and outright specious reasons why names have been suppressed in other cases I sometimes wonder at our community level of sanity and values.

    For me the strongest and most obvious reason for not suppressing the name of an offender after he/she has been tried and convicted is to prevent the mis-identification of another innocent party. It happens. People are curious. They speculate. They get it wrong!

    Further, name suppression is a flawed concept inasmuch as it being highly likely that those closest to the anonymous offender – be they family or associates – are in most instances well aware of his/her conviction/predicament.

    So all name suppression does is to conceal an offender’s identity from the general public. I can think of half a dozen circumstances where such suppression is not in the public interest, the most obvious being the conviction of a crooked business person who may reoffend against someone unaware of their history. There are others.

    I think that alerting and protecting the wider public to the identity of convicted and known criminals by NOT suppressing the names of convicted persons is infinitely preferable to what we have now. Staggeringly obvious in fact, IMHO.

    (Fat chance of there being any change though!)

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  41. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    laworder (178) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 4:27 pm
    ———————-
    Then as it is yet to be proved whether the suppression order continued, I think it is extremely irresponsible of the SST to have revealed the name without firstly making sure it was proper to do so, and secondly to be sure that they were not about to cause harm to innocent people by their actions.

    We all know they are an organisation that is happy to accept non-official information in their desire to be some sort of social agency, when if fact, the only thing they have successfully managed is to “stuff up the law” like they did with the issue of provocation.

    On the surface they sound admirable – deeper investigation reveals huge problems with the manner in which they source their data and reproduce it. They may be right, or wrong in this instance, but either way, how much effort did they put into ensuring the victims were not going to be re-victimised by their actions – my guess is they did even bother to find out – just like they have in other instances.

    NO sex offender list should be operated by any one other than trained professionals with the entire facts and correct information via official sources, and supplied by those trained to deal with issues that may arise. Open access website of incomplete and inaccurate information for any person to access, without the responsibility of providing support for individuals who may be affected by what they read, is completely irresponsible. The SST are a bunch of cowboys in my opinion.

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  42. itstricky (1,701 comments) says:

    Questions: I would quit now before you make a bigger fool of yourself.
    Brian: What the hell do you know? See advice to questions.

    If you are representing parties in such a dispute then show some professionalism and stay right the way out of making comments in public forums. Don’t wonder around here dejecting other comments (even if they are rubbish) going “nah nah nah nah nah you’re all guessing look at me I know more than you but I’m not telling”. But then, I guess, come to think of it, you do have form in the area of unprofessional conduct – perhaps one should not be surprised.

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  43. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Whale’s campaign against name suppression cost him dearly but it highlighted just how stupid the entire process is. I asked Judith earlier if she had any solid evidence that the naming of the criminal but not the victim as practised in the USA has resulted in damaged children but she seems to have shut up shop for the day.

    To a layman it would seem that in 50% at least of child abuse cases suppression is granted if the offender is a second cousin by marriage & the chance of the victim being identified is less than the chance of winning a Lotto jackpot. As such the law, even if required for the kids, which I doubt, most of the time benefits the offender.

    Since child sex offenders are frequently recidivist it is vital that parents rather than just a chosen elite are able to identify potential threats to their kids. On too many occasions police officers & even school principals have had to put themselves offside with the law in order to keep the community safe.

    Time for the pot to be restirred methinks.

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  44. Chuck Bird (4,773 comments) says:

    “Children are more intimidated by male strangers than they are by female strangers.”

    Have any proof of that? In any case that is not the rational for the policy.

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  45. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    nasska (6,015) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Sorry, only just came back on line. Yes, children and victims have been harmed by the offenders name being released. I don’t know about the USA, but I know of one teenage boy that attempted suicide after such information was accessed by school children that enabled them to work out he was a victim.

    That is why I feel so strongly about the information being handled properly by officials who are trained in dealing with the issues involved. Yes, we have a right to know for safety reasons. Children have no right to know unless there are parents supervising and dealing with any issues that information raises.

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  46. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird (3,249) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    “Children are more intimidated by male strangers than they are by female strangers.”

    Have any proof of that? In any case that is not the rational for the policy.

    ——————————————
    If a child felt more intimidated by male strangers than female strangers, I would be asking questions. Children should always be wary of strangers, but if they are ‘intimidated’ by them then there is a problem – regardless of what sex the stranger is.

    The very best thing any parent can do in this issue is to make sure their children are confident and emotionally strong. Sex offenders do not target confident children. A sex offenders list only tells you who has been caught – for every one caught and imprisoned, there is at least one other living in your community.

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  47. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Judith

    I have no problem in keeping the info away from schoolchildren but there has to be a better way than the cockup that we are saddled with now. The rights of kids to live safely trumps everything & I’m far from being convinced that the name suppression legislation we have now is not being grossly abused.

    May I suggest that you have a quick study of “Megan’s Law” enacted in the USA. There is, as could be expected no shortage of bleeding hearts worrying about the effects on the poor offender so please keep an open mind.

    Ref:

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Megan%27s+Law

    http://sexcrimesoffenders.blogspot.co.nz/2010/03/megans-law-sex-offender-registration.html

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  48. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    nasska (6,016) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 5:18 pm
    ————————

    Thank you for the links Nasska, but I am well aware with Megan’s law – I have been involved in this area for many years .

    My stance is basically as follows:

    Name suppression is required in some instances to protect victims – that will always be the case, because the welfare of the victims should always be the Courts primary concern.

    Currently in NZ there is no official sex offender list. The current one operated by SST is fraught with issues and is, in my opinion irresponsible and actually offers a disservice. As long as it exists, it prevents the Govt from dealing with the issue and implementing a correct list.

    An official list would consist of official and correct information from the Courts. It would be administered by people trained in dealing with the issues involved in sexual offending.

    People, namely adults could apply for the information, which would be presented along with advice on how to deal with it.

    Because ALL information, including suppressed names would be on the list, there could be a variety of situations where a suppressed name could be privately released to certain applicants who had ‘a need to know’. This would require a change in legislation, but there is no reason why under a legally controlled process, that some people (e.g. schools administrators) could be informed providing they were willing not to make such information public.

    We need such a list – for all the reasons given in Megan’s Law. But it needs to be controlled and efficient.

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  49. David Garrett (6,786 comments) says:

    Judith: An “official” database is a wonderful idea. I suggest you write to the Minister of Justice – as SST has done on a number of occasions – and suggest that just such a database be established, and given the imprimatur of the government. And the very best of luck to you.

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  50. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    there has to be a better way than the cockup that we are saddled with now

    How about: put all the HRC Commissioners past and present on trial via that new and pwogwessive TV3 debate format? Each week we could have a different one on, until the whole season has been filled with nothing but.

    Go through every single one of the commissioner’s stupid bleeding-heart decisions one by one until they all broke down in tears like the little girls they truly in fact really are.

    That way we kill two birds. Firstly the silly old HRC Commissioners get to really hear what we have all really thought about them all this time, and secondly the mentalism that is the TV3 debate format will probably not get renewed next season but will disappear into the trashbin of history, where it has always belonged.

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  51. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,508) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    ———————-

    Already done David. Many many times, in fact co-authored a paper on the subject a few years back now – to no avail – but good things take time – I persist!

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  52. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Judith

    ….”there is no reason why under a legally controlled process, that some people (e.g. schools administrators) could be informed providing they were willing not to make such information public.”…..

    Which totally defeats the purpose of a register. It is the local cop, the school principals & most of all the parents who are in a position to keep the kids safe….not some wanky, over educated half wit in CYF who is mostly interested in the TOW & their next promotion.

    If the info is not available online to the general public then it must be distributed to the community in some acceptable way. I’m not an expert in the subject but even I have little problem in seeing what is not working at a grass roots level.

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  53. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Reid

    Good idea….everyone would be a winner!

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  54. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    nasska (6,019) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 5:38 pm
    ———————————————

    Who said anything about CYF? For any such list to be effective, it would be administered by people trained in the area of sexual offending, which reaches far beyond children. I am talking about the protection of ALL victims of sexual offending.

    The local cop already knows if he is doing his job. He has access to all convictions regardless of whether name suppression is given or not.

    Under the type of system I mentioned, people like school principals (who I was indicating by school administrators) would have the right to know and could from there act according to the requirements to keep children safe.

    I do not agree with a ‘I’m nosey so I think I should know’ system. Not all people convicted of sexual offences are dangerous to other people. I totally disagree with a system that becomes a place to seek no-longer pertinent information just to persecute someone who may very well have made a mistake as teenager, and who at 50 years of age is not a threat.

    One of the biggest problems with this sort of list is that so many people think if they can’t find a person on the list, they must be safe and so don’t take proper cautions with their children.

    As I said earlier, we need such a list, but parents should never consider it to be the answer to protecting their children. Every person – even another child can be a danger to the vulnerable child. A list will assist – but good parenting to ensure children are confident and emotionally secure will protect them better – especially from the sexual deviant yet to be caught.

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  55. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    good things take time – I persist!

    Judith perhaps you haven’t learned yet there is little point in persisting when it comes to bureaucratic obduracy. At a guess I’d guess the officials are thinking about the Pwivacy Act and how dweadful it would be were the beloved dept ever to twansgwess that.

    So they won’t ever change their minds. Once a position has become fixed inside of their thick skulls nothing short of explosives and jack-hammers will ever, ever shift it. And you’ll have to use a lot of those.

    So I would, were I you, try another tactic. Like an end-run via the media. And weave a heart-rending tale of woe and despair at the utter travesty of it all, such that even the most hardened lefty sub-editor whose got the preamble to the Pwivacy Act pinned to his wall which he looks at every day, will simply burst into a blubbering crybaby at the first sentence.

    If you can’t do that, buy a nice bottle of Chardonnay and forget all about it. The machine has won.

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  56. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Tell me Nasska, what would you do, if you had open access to a list and found out your neighbours name was on it for indecent assault 15 years ago. How would you deal with that information?

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  57. itstricky (1,701 comments) says:

    I do not agree with a ‘I’m nosey so I think I should know’ system.
    I totally disagree with a system that becomes a place to seek no-longer pertinent information just to persecute someone

    Yep. Although the 10 up votes that Garrett got for mearly indicating he was working on the case would suggest that most of the readers in this thread -are- those ‘I’m nosey and I think I should know’ people… …prepare for a large down vote.

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  58. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Judith

    1) You have expanded the list to include all areas of sexual offending. We would probably need about 5000 experts nationwide to ensure that we could handle the delicacies. Definitely career possibilities for an up & coming member of the sisterhood there.

    2) Yes….the local cop knows now, but God help him if he passes the info onto someone else who needs to know. The crim cuddlers crucified some poor cop who did just that in the Hutt Valley a couple of years ago. The need to know was there but once again the wretched system & an ill thought out law was more important than the kids.

    3) Re “nosey” people….okay the fact that they may find out about someone’s past is regrettable & less than optimum but who cares? Not me for one.

    4) I take on board the fact that parents could be lured into a sense of false security & ignore fresh dangers but at least they wouldn’t be blinded to the ones they should be able to find out about.

    ….”Tell me Nasska, what would you do, if you had open access to a list and found out your neighbours name was on it for indecent assault 15 years ago. How would you deal with that information?”…..

    Probably the same as I do with all pertinent info…..file it in my memory in case I needed it. It would be a warning for the future….nothing more & nothing less.

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  59. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    itstricky (175) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 5:59

    ———————–

    Thanks for the heads up – but I’ll cope, I’ve lost more than a few popularity competitions on this subject, but I think the issue and the victims deserve it to be addressed in the realm of reality in our society and to do that it is necessary to challenge the ‘fairy tales’, scaremongering, and total misconceptions people have.

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  60. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    nasska (6,020) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    —————————–

    1. A vast exaggeration which existing empirical data does not support. We need a solution to the problem rather just an open list to peruse. I don’t like the ‘sisterhood’ comment. Would you rather the local dairy owner handled the list and gave out information depending on the size of the bribe?

    2. Police already pass such information on to those in danger in many cases. Yes there needs to be a better process to inform people who are at risk – but that awareness has increased in the past few years and is much better than it was. A supervised database will improve that further.

    3. You wouldn’t care if the child of a convicted sex offender who had served his time and lived a law abiding life since release and was a responsible and caring parent – was persecuted and teased and bullied because of the fathers historical conviction? Not all sex offenders continue to be a danger.

    4. As I said, if a person had a need to know – that is they were likely to come into contact or their children come into contact with that person who was still a potential risk on a regular basis, then they would be allowed to know. But just knowing the criminal histories of your neighbours, for the sake of nosiness is not on. We have to believe that people can and do change – and yes, even some sexual offenders (of which there are many many sorts) can change.

    I am pleased with your answer to my question. So many people would think they were being proactive by warning the neighbourhood and taking action. If there was a list you would be able to confirm what the nature of the offence was, and then decide what responsible steps to take. It may just have been a bad judgement, some drunken grope that he had learned his lesson from and was never likely to repeat. OR, it maybe someone what was a big risk – but having the full information allows you to make sensible decisions. Sex offending covers a variety of things – they are not all monsters.

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  61. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Good to see Judith has finally ditched her Saint Bain obsession.

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  62. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Manolo (9,424) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 7:04 pm
    ————————–

    I always think it sad when people can only converse on one or two subjects. I personally have a variety of subjects that interest me and of which I have informed opinions in. I haven’t finally ditched any of my interests, but rather concentrate my efforts in those interests where they can do the most good. As lovely as DPF is, and a more gracious host could not be found, unfortunately he does not have the necessary influence to affect the case, so any conversation on that matter is really for entertainment purposes on Kiwiblog at present.

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  63. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Judith

    1) A facetious response to a reasonable comment, admittedly couched with hyperbole.

    2) We’ll see how it pans out but I’m sceptical.

    3) Since my original argument had to do with offenders who preyed on children that was the category of offender I had in mind. Doubtlessly you are better informed than I but it is my understanding that kiddie fiddlers have a very low rehabilitation rate. As such they & their unfortunate families should expect ongoing attention.

    4) Who is going to decide who “needs to know”? Experts are not infallible & their touchy feely feminist instincts that just know that forgiveness, trust & group hugs solve everything will provide holes that manipulative molesters will walk through. No sale!

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  64. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    nasska (6,021) Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Wow, you really have no idea do you? Pointless discussing the subject with you Nasska – your lack of compassion for the victims of sexual offences and knowledge of the people that work with them is beyond description. No wonder you see the world as such a dangerous place with all the misconceptions you have. Best of luck living in it.

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  65. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    “…..3. You wouldn’t care if the child of a convicted sex offender who had served his time and lived a law abiding life since release and was a responsible and caring parent – was persecuted and teased and bullied because of the fathers historical conviction? Not all sex offenders continue to be a danger….”

    I don’t think there would be any kids living with a convicted sex offender as most mothers leave them – with the kids.

    And that is the issue with ‘name suppression’ as when offenders get out, they can then move to a new town and move in with a new girlfriend – who has kids. Jules Mukus is one who did this.

    Yes, it is true that ‘not all sex offenders continue to be a danger’ but nearly all of those would have the support of family. It is the one’s who don’t that remain a danger.
    Sex offenders when released must have the support of family who provide them with security which in turn provides the community with security, or they then have to live on a millitary base – a nessecery part of the community. They can do low skilled work for food and board, and after a few years may then be eligable to work outside.

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  66. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Harriet (1,437) Says:
    April 7th, 2013 at 7:20 am
    —————————————–

    Well you are wrong. There are plenty of kids living with convicted sex offenders (don’t forget there are many kinds of sex offender) and some who meet after sentence has been completed and have families – in which the kids grow up to be normal well adjusted people.

    Jules Mikus did not have name suppression, nor did he apply for it. Jules Mikus was not convicted until years after the killing of Teresa McCormick, therefore his subsequent partners did not know he had committed the murder as he had not been charged with it. He had not received name suppression for many of his historical convictions.

    You are correct, those that have the support and understanding of family generally do not reoffend. However, the primary issue that contributes to a sex offender not re-offending is their own awareness and openness.

    Again you are assuming all sex offenders are the same. They are not, just as there are a variety of sex offences. You are right for some, and not for others. Often the sex offender can not live with family, because their victim/s are family – in fact, with pedophilia that is all to often the case.

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  67. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Good comments Judith.
    McVicar has absolutely no qualifications to meddle in all the areas he meddles in. He has become the ”go to guy” for extremely lazy journalists. Most make no effort to air alternative views. It is interesting to hear what some of the judges say about him in private. And Garth old boy , you have my permission to use this comment in your next book..I had a great laugh when I saw a K/B comment of mine in your last hastily thrown together masterpiece.

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  68. ChardonnayGuy (1,187 comments) says:

    I am inclined to agree with the comments on McVicar. While I think the SST is a legitimate organisation and does an excellent job advocating for victims rights, McVicar has passed his use-by date and should be replaced as its spokesperson. I’m afraid that he is far too populist for his own good. Exactly how does advocating defying the law when it comes to name suppression assist victims rights, however? As I’ve said, the question that we should be asking is how one can legitimately narrow the right to name suppression and on what grounds? And my point about lengthening the severity and duration of imprisonment for child sexual abusers of any kind still applies. If therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation is the answer, then surely an increased period of therapeutic intervention will enable greater rehabilitation?

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  69. RuthM (6 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy (537) Says:
    April 7th, 2013 at 11:25 am
    Exactly how does advocating defying the law when it comes to name suppression assist victims rights, however?

    How is it defying the law when there is no suppression and a court minute to prove it?
    We totally agree the name suppression laws need to be reviewed, narrowed and made clear for all it should not take cases like this to highlight it’s current inefficiencies (of which there are many as discussed on this blog and others regularly)

    The so called justice system should man up and run a database that the public can use to inform and protect ourselves – it should not be left to SST or anyone else to manage – it is a public safety issue.

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  70. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    You say there is no suppression order but HRC say there is, additionally so does the lawyer (or previous lawyer) of the offender. HRC are the watchdog and not required to prove anything to a private group, read the Act.

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  71. goldnkiwi (1,179 comments) says:

    No convicted criminal will agree to there being more comprehensive information and photos etc to be on the SST. That way they can complain about inadequacy and misinformation.

    If you look on the site they seem to do the best they can with the resources available and despite the interference of those who claim to have the interests of the victims foremost, but only shelter those people who have sinned sufficiently to even rate a mention on that site.

    Since further suppression orders have been applied for it would seem that for what ever reason there are not any permanent ones in force.

    Disclaimer: This message is not meant to point the finger at any one in particular as one has no control over what messages follow what. ;) Or so I have read.

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