News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

NZ Press Council Defends Freedom Of Speech

In its role as a defender of freedom of speech, the New Zealand Press Council today issued a statement in support of the New Zealand Court of Appeal's decision in the Lange v. Atkinson defamation case. An appeal against that decision was allowed by the Privy Council and published last week.

This year the Press Council issued its Statement of Principles which contains the following:

"There are some broad principles to which the council is committed. There is no more important principle than freedom of expression. In a democratically governed society the public has a right to be informed and much of that information comes from the media."

In its statement today, the Press Council said: "The New Zealand Court of Appeal in a carefully reasoned judgement held that the publication `North and South' could use the political expression (qualified privilege) defence against Mr Lange's claim for defamation. The essence of the Lange case, and the other related Australian and English cases, is the protection of reputation of a politician in his or her public life against the public's right to be informed. Political expression is restricted to political information.

"Recently the House of Lords disallowed the defence in a collateral case Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Limited. The Privy Council in Lange(identical court composition and issued with Reynolds) sent the Lange case back to the New Zealand Court of Appeal for it to reconsider its decision in the light of Reynolds.



"The Press Council makes no comment on the appropriateness of the Reynolds case to the United Kingdom conditions but supports the approach of the Australasian courts, which are broadly in agreement on a political expression defence being available to the media.

"The Press Council firmly supports the Court of Appeal's decision in Lange on the grounds that it is in favour of greater freedom of expression and the right of the media to inform the public about its political life. To change that landmark decision will inevitably produce a chilling effect on our freedoms, and align us closer to practise in the United Kingdom rather than Australia."

ENDS....


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Resene Eighth Annual Architecture & Design Film Festival

This year’s line-up will showcase the most acclaimed and current films in architecture and design, including documentaries on this century’s finest architects, super stars in the design field and movements for environmental change. More>>

Filthy Rich Scores American Remake

New Zealand drama Filthy Rich has been green-lit for a US remake by Fox network starring Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall… A pilot episode shot in New Orleans earlier this year also saw Kim Cattrall in the starring role, based on the character played by Miriama Smith in NZ. More>>

Ockhams: ‘Urgently Relevant’ Novel Wins NZ’s Richest Literary Award

Dame Fiona Kidman has won this year’s $53,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for her novel, This Mortal Boy, a work described by the judges as ‘moving, memorable, authentic and urgently relevant to our times.’ More>>

ALSO:


Comedy Festival: The Comedy Festival Is On

Binge on almost a full month of comedic delights, as the NZ International Comedy Festival runs from 2-26/5 in Auckland and Wellington. More>>

ALSO:


Lucy Gardner Photo Essay: You Are Us - Aroha Nui Concert Christchurch

The New Zealand Music Industry presented remarkable unifying support for those affected by the terrorist attacks at two Christchurch mosques. More>>

Prof Andrew Geddis: Otago Academic Receives Critic And Conscience Award

This award was established to encourage academic staff at New Zealand universities to act as ‘critic and conscience of society’—as required under the Education Act—by providing the public with independent, expert commentary on issues affecting the New Zealand community and future generations. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland