Solicitor-General's Statement on Blogger Whaleoil
Press Statement: Solicitor-General
14 January 2010
The Solicitor-General has a constitutional responsibility for bringing contempt proceedings. By contrast the Police have the primary responsibility for bringing criminal proceedings, including criminal charges for breach of suppression orders under the Criminal Justice Act 1985.
The Solicitor-General does not at this stage intend to bring contempt proceedings against Mr Slater for breaches of suppression orders. The Solicitor-General is aware of and supports the action that the Police have already taken under the Criminal Justice Act 1985.
In respect of the recent publication by Mr Slater concerning a suppression order made in the District Court at Nelson, the Solicitor-General has invited the Police to determine whether to prosecute Mr Slater under the Criminal Justice Act.
In Mr Slater’s case contempt proceedings nonetheless remain an option that may be invoked by the Solicitor-General. Any such proceedings would most likely be brought after any Criminal Justice Act prosecutions have been disposed of if there is on-going offending by Mr Slater, or if his offending in any way escalates.
This approach is consistent with the approach that the Solicitor-General has previously taken with respect to people who breach Court orders, for instance Mr Siemer.