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Franks: open justice, end secrecy

Franks: open justice, end secrecy

ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks tonight pointed to two examples of pathological secrecy replacing New Zealand's traditional culture of openness.

"Name suppression for an All Black is wrong. It deserves all the criticism it is getting and the judge should not have faced the temptation to send a message of unequal treatment under the law.

"Name suppression should be available only where disclosure would hurt the victim. High profile offenders should think about their reputations before they offend, not after they get to court."

Mr Franks said the Health and Disability Commissioner's recommendations on privacy law are also wimpish.

"Fear of privacy law enabled a `dud' doctor to shift employers without exposure. Privacy in these circumstances should be a privilege not a right.

"Instead of recommending that the law be repealed, so far as it discourages communication between people with a legitimate safety concern in knowing about an employee, the Commissioner suggests the employee should be encouraged to disclose themselves, and employers should try to make the right to disclose a condition of employment," he said.

In Auckland on Monday Mr Franks will be announcing ACT's election policy to restore the transparency of justice that was once New Zealand's proud tradition.

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