SST reaches agreement in paedophile privacy case

5/08/2014

A long running legal action between the Sensible Sentencing Trust and the Director of Human Rights Proceedings has been settled out of Court.

The David and Goliath battle started in 2009 after the SST listed a man convicted of multiple offences of sexual abuse of children on their offender data base.

The paedophile lodged a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner who in turn put it in the hands of the Director of Human Rights Proceedings where it has been grinding away since.

Last week the two sides came to an agreement that the Director would discontinue proceedings providing the SST acknowledged that it breached three privacy principles and agreed to send key people to a privacy training workshop.

SST believes those principles have been perverted from their legitimate purposes, but will do what it has agree to do.

The Director had originally sought compensation for the sex-offender but no compensation would be paid under the agreement and none of the parties will seek costs.

Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said the Trust had been left in an invidious position after the Court of Appeal had ruled that interim name suppression orders were in fact permanent.

“We have this ludicrous situation where we [SST] had a minute of the Court saying no final name suppression was granted.
• The paedophile’s own lawyer could not produce any evidence of final name suppression.
• A High Court Judge had ruled that the case turned on a final name suppression order being produced.
• The Privacy Commissioner could not find any evidence that this man had been granted final name suppression.
• The Director of Human Rights Proceedings was unable to produce the elusive final name suppression order.
• Yet after 5 years someone pulls a rabbit out of the hat and found a section in the law that basically amounted to an interim order amounting to life-long blanket protection.”

McVicar said the case had exposed what a debacle the existing law was around name suppression and the Trust had decided to put its resources into changing the law.

See here for:
Court Minute Stating No Final Name Suppression:
CHCH DC Minute 301109

Signed Settlement Agreement:
SST DoHRP Signed Settlement Agreement 28.7.14

ENDS

Garth McVicar
Phone: 027 2487 919

Ruth Money
Phone: 027 565 4406

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Due to growing demand, the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) and Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) are on the search to grow our advocating teams.
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