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R v the Internet Seminar

Is the Internet in contempt of court, and if so what should be done about it?

A seminar for legal, media and Internet professionals to discuss the issues around suppression orders, contempt of court and the Internet.

Programme (PDF)

A video recording of the seminar is available at the following link:

Seminar Overview

The Internet has transformed communications in New Zealand as the number of information sources easily available to the public has exploded from barely a dozen media outlets to thousands of websites, blogs, Facebook pages and Tweets on Twitter. 

Issues in the Internet age include:

  • Undermining of suppression orders
  • Lack of jurisdiction over material hosted outside NZ
  • Online discussion of crimes and trials potentially being a contempt of court
  • Jurors who “Google”
  • How deleting a story doesn’t remove it from caches and syndication feeds
  • How do media and Internet publishers find out what actually has been the subject of a suppression order?
  • Online criminal offending databases, and the right to a fair trial
  • Is education or incarceration needed for Internet publishers who commit contempt?

Join some of New Zealand’s top professionals from the legal, media and Internet professions to discuss these issues and more at Te Papa’s Rangimarie Room on Thursday, 3 December 2009.


Suppressing Names & Evidence - Warren Young, Law Commission

Court Suppression Orders & the Internet - Judge David Harvey

Suppression Challenges - David Farrar, Kiwiblog


Hon Christopher Finlayson, Attorney-General   
David Collins QC, Solicitor- General
Steven Price, Barrister & author of Media Minefield
Robert Lithgow QC
Brent Edwards, Media Committee, EPMU
Warren Young, Law Commission
Judge David Harvey
Sinead Boucher, Group Online Editor, Fairfax
David Farrar, Editor, Kiwiblog
Frank March, President, Internet New Zealand
Ursula Cheer, Associate Professor, University of Canterbury

The Seminar was jointly organised by InternetNZ, the Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission.


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