Judge's Googling Judgment -Googling or Goofy?
The Judge's Googling Judgment - Is It Googling or Goofy?
LawFuel - The Law Jobs and News Wire
Judge David Harvey has taken the unusual and unprecedented step of prohibiting publication of two accuseds' names by digital media while permitting their publication by 'conventional' media.
The two accused, who are accused of murder, have had their names suppressed from website or blog publication to prevent what the Judge said was his fear of the "viral effect of digital publication".
However, it is apparent that overseas or other media can readily publish the accuseds' names on websites without the Judge being able to do anything about it and the general population being able to readily find out who they are.
Judge Harvey is highly familiar with IT law and technical issues and commentators have accordingly been either dismayed or bemused by his judgment. He has taught information technology and written a text book on cyber law in New Zealand.
IT commentator Russell Brown has said that the judgment might be 'experimental' to see what happens, as the case is essentially of local interest only and may not arouse the passions of overseas commentators on the web or otherwise.
Whatever the reasons, the judgment is a first. The question now is whether it will also be the last time it happens.