3 Dec 2009

Internet beyond our control, says Solicitor-General

4:00 pm on 3 December 2009

The Solicitor-General says the Government is not equipped to prevent contempt of court when suppressed material is published on the internet.

Speaking at a seminar in Wellington on Thursday, David Collins QC said that while the internet had helped to democratise the nation, it posed challenges for law enforcement.

Dr Collins says the state will have to find new ways to control the publication of details suppressed by courts on the internet.

When suppressed material is published on webspace controlled by another country's internet service provider, he says, the police in New Zealand could petition law enforcement agencies in that country to remove material.

Dr Collins also suggested international agreements to give foreign jurisdictions responsibility for controlling information suppressed in other countries.