“Chuck it out and start with a blank piece of paper” states Ruth Money, Sensible Sentencing Trust Spokesperson in reference to the current name suppression laws.
In a Reserved Judgment released today, Judge Paul Kellar highlights the nonsensical issues surrounding name suppression. Even if and when a victim successfully has their name unsuppressed, offenders still retain name suppression because technically the legislation does not allow for their details to be unsuppressed.
“Where is the common sense?” asks Ruth Money. “This is not at all what Parliament intended by the law, there are errors in its drafting and should be remedied immediately”.
“In light of this decision we are calling on all political parties to commit to a first principles review of name suppression laws. That is, start with a clean slate and think: If name suppression was to be granted, what would be the few scenarios in which it could be justified. Let’s fix this issue once and for all” pleads Ms Money.
“Name suppression is, in effect, a denial of the truth and here we see the law allowing offenders to effectively piggyback on the rightful application of name suppression that is awarded to survivors of sexual abuse” states Money. “Survivors already get name suppression by law so why do we even need a separate name suppression law at all? The UK doesn’t have it for example. It simply enables reoffending and hides the truth”.
The SST confirmed today that they will be supporting the survivors in this Christchurch case all the way through a Judicial Review of the offenders name suppression as well as any other proceedings that are required to right the law.
“The sooner the Government acts to correct the law back in line with the original intention of parliament (the protection of victims’ rights), the sooner we will see a drop in reoffending because currently offenders are hiding and preying on victims, enabled by name suppression which they are not entitled to”, says Money.
To illustrate how ridiculous the law is, the journey of these victims is:
1.They get name suppression without being asked if they want suppression, SO
2.The offender gets name suppression but only to protect the victims, BUT
3.Then the victims consent to and don’t have name suppression anymore, BUT
4.The offender still has name suppression, SO
5.They get suppression again even though they never wanted suppression in the first place.
“You couldn’t make this stuff up!” concludes Ms Money.
Ruth Money SST Spokesperson
027 565 4406
Ian Tyler SST Child Protection Specialist
021 106 4217
Counsel for the applicants: Nikki Pender
021 515 395