Of Rugby balls and mileage

I’ve been thinking all day about suppression orders. I think we need a real re-think on these. While Simon power is wasting time and energy on looking at repealing the defence of provocation, something that on thought I have come to disagree with he should really be looking at our suppression laws.

In terms of protecting children I have no problem with permanent suppression orders, in some respects also in cases involving horriffic sexual crimes the suppression orders protecting the victim are warranted in but in several cases recently there have been suppression orders in place for no real reason other than to protect a person’s vanity.

Suppression orders should really only be temporary and perhaps for 48 hours at most so that family members can be told. Other than that they should be used sparingly rather than frequently as is becoming the norm.

You can read about someone killed in a car crash in the paper but for some reason a judge deems it necessary to suppress the details of the person charged with the car crash causing the death. It’s a facetious argument I know but it has happened.

Now take the case before the courts today where a former MP is charged along with numerous other people pf allegedly committing frauds involving gaming moneys. All day I have fielded calls from all sorts of people asking if i know who it is or isn’t. I have even had MP’s and former MP’s ringing me asking me. Suppression orders in this case are actually blighting the good names of many ex-MPs and the names of some not so good ex-MPs and all for what? There is no real reason to suppress these details other than for vanity. it is a good case to high-light the difference between wasting resources repealing a valid legal defence of provocation and the real waste of time and resources with suppression.

Now I am no lawyer, but I fucked a few up in my time, and so am not really qualified to comment on whether or not to remove the defence of provocation but other have looked at it and Madeleine Flannagan has a good post on why it should stay.

As for suppression order, I say this is more important than removing a legitimate defence just because a couple of fools unsuccessfully tried to use it to justify their heinous crimes.

In light of all that I leave you with this.