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

 


Pistorius and the lessons for New Zealand

Pistorius and the lessons for New Zealand

March 10, 2014

The process employed to try criminal cases in New Zealand should be continually discussed and debated, a leading University of Canterbury (UC) criminal law academic says.

The global interest in the Oscar Pistorius case illustrates a collective fascination with crime, both its commission and prosecution, Associate Professor Chris Gallavin, Head of UC’s Law School says.

``The case serves as an example of the operation of a system of justice different to our own and, from that perspective, the coverage is a good thing in that it creates interest and debate in our system’ Dr Gallavin says.

``A number of people have said how peculiar they think it is that there is no jury in the case. I usually reply by saying that our concept of law and fair trial is only one conception and not the only conception.

``Apart from the OJ Simpson case, the Pistorius trial is likely to be the most publicised case ever. There is a confluence of matters that make this prosecution so intriguing: from the peculiar nature of the killing itself, to the social standing of those involved, the incredible sporting achievements of the defendant right through to seemingly trivial things such as the attractiveness of both the defendant and the victim.

``Unlike New Zealand, the South African system of justice borrows heavily from a Roman or civil law system of justice. One of the main differences between the systems is the lack of a jury system in South Africa.

``Criminal cases, even serious ones, are heard by a judge alone or a panel of judges sometimes with the use of lay judges who hold no formal legal qualification.

``Under our common law system of justice, where juries are a more or less everyday feature of the criminal courts, we see jury service as an important social service as well as integral to justice being seen to be done.

``With professional judges there is the chance of a more clinical and perhaps legalistic approach to cases, but with juries it could be argued that there is a greater opportunity for a more human approach to criminal conviction.

``While it is difficult to draw comparisons, it is certainly the case that both systems have their strengths and weaknesses and people ought not to view a juryless system as providing all of the answers to the perceived problems of the criminal process in New Zealand.’’

The in-court media coverage maximises the intrigue of the Pistorius case. Although not in the position of allowing a carte blanche right to news media to film and record anything they like in court, New Zealand has come a long way from the role of the court artist whose depictions of in-court scenes were once the only pictorial record allowed to be taken of daily court events.

Professor Gallavin says the New Zealand Media in Courts Review Panel has just released a consultation paper as part of the Chief Justice’s review of in-court television coverage that could ultimately result in significant liberalisation of the rules around filming and recording court proceedings.

``I have no doubt that the Pistorius case will have further twists and turns that will keep the world transfixed on the media coverage, much to the delight, I am sure, of news media providers around the world.’’

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news