The 46 year old name suppression case

Victoria Robinson reports:

Continued name suppression for a 46-year-old celebrity charged with disorderly behaviour has been slammed by the Newspaper Publishers’ Association.

The entertainer, faces the charge after being arrested in downtown Auckland on December 29, has been accepted into a police diversion scheme.

Judge David Harvey, in Auckland District Court, adjourned the celebrity’s application for non-publication of his name, which media is expected to oppose, until February 9.

It is worth noting that the Judge here has not granted name supression. It has been applied for, and interim supression cotinues until the hearing on Feb 9th. The problem lies with the defendent trying to gain permament name supression, and the inability to schedule a substantive hearing more quickly.

The defendent has either had some shockingly bad advice, or has ignored some good advice/ If he had never sought name supression, the incident (which was minor and he got diversion for) would have been a page five or seven lasting one news cycle.

But the use of name supression has meant half the country wants to know the 46 year old is (the other half already know), and you’ve had other 46 year olds deny it is them.

So the end result for the 46 year old is a tonne more bad publicity that if he had never had name supression.

Newspaper Publishers’ Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst said yesterday that media companies should challenge the suppression to protect the principles of open justice.

“The in country are far too ready to offer suppression. A justice system operates the most effectively in full sunlight and any sort of suggestion that people of influence … are protected, undermines the system.”

I agree with Tim Pankhurst that media should challenge this, but note that the Judge has not yet made a decision on suppression. Also worth noting that the Police did not oppose interim name supression. is part of the problem – we need a culture in the Police where they challenge name suppression in almost all cases.

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