planet logo        
Find archived articles
WWW PlaNet


0800 752638

Planet Communications— delivering socially and environmentally conscious internet and media services since 1992.



PlaNet News & Views

Posted on 23-8-07

Unsilence In Court
By Alan Marston, 23 August 2007
Some things are so obvious they are called axiomatic because they are
immune from the ravages time reeks on mere truth, which latter is as
Einstein discovered, relative. When it comes to justice and fair-play the
key axioms are:
>> Facts are stubborn things but not so stubborn as self-interest
>> There are two sides to every story
>> Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely
>> Written records made at the time of an event by a witness carry more
weight than reports written later from memory alone by those materially
involved in a particular outcome
>> On balance 12 people looking at a case are more likely to be objective
and impartial than 1
>> If it's hard to see in the dark it's much harder to make decisions
without full, accurate and relevant information
>> Justice delayed is justice denied because without their day in court
those accused of wrong-doing are rendered defenseless
Axioms lead to institutions, like the judicial system and the judicial
system has evolved to its highest point so far, the trial by jury. However
the institution of justice only works if axioms are reflected in mandatory
actions, specifically justice is served only when:
)) Judges are legally and personally bound to independence from
Parliament, commerce and personal gain in the exercise of their judicial
)) A jury trial only fulfills its institutional role if conducted in a
timely manner under the open gaze of both public and public-media wherein
contending parties have equal access to legal representation which in turn
is provided with full-disclosure of all relevant information.
My ongoing experience in the Vince Siemer v Michael Stiassny defamation
case (see PTV stream, Silencing Vince) has given me grave doubts that the
institution of justice in New Zealand is properly carrying out its
I'll be talking to Vince Siemer next week and that discussion, focusing on
justice in New Zealand and/or the lack of it, will screen starting Monday
3 September.