Rogers v Television New Zealand Ltd: Police And the Release of Information to the Media
This article considers the flow of information from the police to the media in light of the Supreme Court case of Rogers v Television New Zealand Ltd (Rogers). While the police were not party to the action, and the conduct of the police was not relevant to the case argued, the Court was critical of the actions of the police. This article looks at the extent to which information gathered by the police and intended to be used as evidence is released by the police to the media; it finds that such information is frequently released. The article looks at the relevant law including Police Regulations, internal police rules and Code of Conduct, breach of confidence, contempt of court, and the Official Information Act 1982. The circumstances of the Rogers case are analysed in light of the relevant law and potential breaches are identified. The article concludes that the law relating to police release of information to the media needs to be clarified and that clearer, enforced police guidelines may achieve this.
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