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Internet law seminar to examine contempt issues

Media Release – 10 November 2009 – InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc), the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice are co-hosting a seminar next month for legal, media and Internet professionals to discuss issues around suppression orders, contempt of court and the Internet.

The ‘R v the Internet’ seminar is being held on Thursday, 3 December at Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand. A high-profile speaker line-up has been confirmed and includes Attorney General Hon Christopher Finlayson, Solicitor General David Collins, District Court Judge David Harvey, Canterbury University Associate Professor Ursula Cheer and Kiwiblog Editor David Farrar.

InternetNZ spokesperson Jordan Carter says the legal issues caused by Internet publishing are well known and significant.  They include the undermining (deliberately or otherwise) of suppression orders, the lack of jurisdiction over Internet material hosted outside New Zealand, and public discussion of crimes and trials potentially being a contempt of court.

“The Internet has allowed every person to also be a publisher, and in New Zealand tens of thousands of people now publish online,” says Carter.

“The number of information sources available to the public in the pre-Internet age used to number barely a dozen, but there are now over 200 political blogs, many thousands more personal blogs and New Zealand Facebook pages and Twitter accounts open to public view.

“The seminar should prove a useful input into the review of the law of contempt currently being undertaken by the Law Commission, consideration of the desirability of initiatives such as a central register of suppression orders, and also any wider review of contempt law that the Government undertakes.”

Spaces are limited and early registrations are encouraged at: . Please contact InternetNZ for concessionary registrations.

For more information:

Jordan Carter
Deputy Executive Director, InternetNZ
021 442 649,

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