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News Contempt of Court - Is this right?

  1. Jul 12, 2013 #1
    http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/17981664/new-zealand-blogger-heads-to-jail/ [Broken]

    After reading the article, I make particular attention to what the Chief Justice of the NZ Judiciary system said. She said that the High Court judge couldn't make the ruling suppressed, so why is this blogger going to jail? If anyone is in contempt of court, it is the High Court judge by not following correct Court procedures.

    Would telling a Judge what you think of them be contempt of court? My High School Classics teacher, I remember, said she would freely tell a Judge what she thought of them. I gather it is what words you choose to use.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2013 #2


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    I'm in no means an expert on the legal system in NZ. However, by reading the article, it appears that much like the United States, your high court is made up by a group of judges and the majority opinion is the verdict. Thus, even though the chief justice dissent, in the end, that's simply the chief justice opinion on the matter if the justice cannot convince his or her peers to agree.

    Furthermore, it doesn't appear as if the negative comment on the system is what caused the blogger to go to jail, but rather violating an order to not publish the information he published. So...I don't see what you're trying to really get at.
  4. Jul 13, 2013 #3
    That the High Court judge didn't have the power to suppress the information that was published by the blogger.

    I upload the judgement released by the Supreme Court of NZ, which is freely available on their website.
  5. Jul 13, 2013 #4


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    Apparently, the SC of NZ disagrees with your findings. The SC found that the accused in the original case, the one in which the pre-trial ruling was made, had a right to a fair trial, which could have been damaged by publishing that pre-trial ruling. King Blogger goes ahead and ignores the explicit instructions of the trial judge and publishes the prohibited ruling. Trial judge cites King Blogger for contempt and remands him to the jug.

    Now, King Blogger may have felt that the trial judge erred in making her pre-trial rulings, but that is neither here nor there. If counsel for the accused had felt that there was reversible error on the part of the trial judge, it was their duty to file an appeal.

    Contempt of court is like pornography: judges can't define it, but they know it when they see it. The judge is the offended party and also the trier of fact in a contempt case. If the judge says you are guilty, you are guilty, and I think other judges are reluctant to second guess.
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