Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Appeal On “Baise-Moi” Succeeds Against Film Board

The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
P.O. BOX 13-683 JOHNSONVILLE

PATRONS
Sir John Kennedy-Good KBE QSO
Professor TV O'Donnell MD FRACP CBE
Marilyn Pryor
Founder Patricia Bartlett O.B.E.


Released 2 p.m. Wednesday 24 July 2002

Appeal On “Baise-Moi” Succeeds Against Film Board

The Hon. Justice R.G. Hammond delivered his reserved decision on the classification decision with respect to the French sex-violence film “Baise-Moi” at 2 p.m. on Tuesday 23rd July 2002. This High Court judgement (AP 76/02) involved the case of an appeal by the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards Inc. (SPCS) against a determination of the nine-member Film and Literature Board of Review. The appeal was successful.

Mr Peter McKenzie QC and Mr Paul Rishworth, Associate Professor of Law at Auckland University, represented the Society in the High Court hearings held over two days last month in Wellington (11-12 June).

In his judgement Justice Hammond set aside the decision of the Board (dated 13 March 2002) that had given the film “Baise-Moi” a general R18 classification and remitted it back to the Board for reconsideration in the light of the observations made by the Court. In consequence, the interim restriction order has been set aside. Until such time as the Board reconsiders the classification of the film, there is no classification in full force and effect, and the film cannot be shown.

The Board members responsible for the classification decision that has now been set aside on the basis of the finding that the Board “err[ed] in law” are: Claudia Elliott (President), Greg Presland (Vice-President), Mark Anderson, Peter Cartwright, Dr Brian McDonnell, Pamela Meekings-Stewart, Marion Orme, Dr Lalita Rajasingham and Stephen Stehlin. (Peter Cartwright, husband of Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright is perhaps best known. He is currently the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Standards Authority [BSA], the statutory body set up to rule on public complaints regarding material considered “objectionable” that has been presented on television or radio. He served for some years as Chair of the Indecent Publications Tribunal).

The Society executive has released its initial response to the judgement:

“The judgement of Justice Hammond is a triumph for all victims of sexual violence, serial killings and other forms of criminal violence, as well as for all who strive for a decent society free from sexual violence and all forms of degrading and dehumanising attacks on the dignity of the human person. It is a recognition that there is a very real likelihood of harm to the public good from the dissemination of, and exposure to, material that tends to glamourise the juxtaposing of sexual violence and graphic violence for the purposes of so-called entertainment.”

“[In our view] the Board will need to apply a proportionate remedy by way of a new classification decision to take account of its own finding that the degree of harm was ‘high’.”

The Society’s successful ground of the appeal was the failure by the Board to consider the impact of other media, for example video and television. Justice Hammond stated in par. 82 under the heading “Failure to Consider the Impact of the Classification of Baise-Moi on a Medium Other Than Film”.

“… the Board did err in law in this instance in failing to have regard to the impact of the various mediums of formats in which this film might be presented. Effectively, what the Board has done is to read down s. 4(b) and s. 4(f) to the narrowest possible reading, as meaning something along the lines of, ‘the way in which the subject matter is presently to be presented’….”

Subsections 4(b) and 4(c) come from s. 3 of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act (1993) that defines the meaning of the term “objectionable” (publication): “In determining, for the purposes of this Act, whether or not any publication (other than a publication to which subsection [2] of this section applies) is objectionable or should be given a classification other than objectionable, the following matters shall also be considered: … (b) The impact of the medium in which the publication is presented… (f) Any other relevant circumstances relating to the intended or likely use of the publication.”

And from par. 84 of Justice Hammond’s judgement:

“… the Board failed to have regard to the (relevant) considerations to which I have just been referring. It follows that it is appropriate to allow the appeal, and to remit the case to the Board for a reconsideration of the classification of Baise-Moi in light of the view taken of the statutory provisions which I have just set out.”

In his conclusion to the judgement he stated [pars. 89 –91].

[89] “In the result, the appeal is allowed. The decision of the Board is set aside. The proceeding is remitted to the Board for reconsideration in light of the observations made by this Court.

[90] “In consequence, the interim restriction order is set aside. This is because it is not now needed. Until such time as the Board reconsiders the classification of the film, there is no classification in full force and effect, and the film cannot be shown….”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news