Case Number: 2039

Council Meeting: JUNE 2008

Verdict: Not Upheld

Publication: New Zealand Herald

Ruling Categories: Balance, Lack Of

The Press Council has not upheld a complaint from Christopher O’Neill about an article in the New Zealand Herald, published on 19 January 2008, reporting on a High Court judgment prohibiting Mr O’Neill from issuing or continuing proceedings in the Human Rights Review Tribunal without leave of the Court.

The Press Council has read the High Court judgment, dated 20 December 2007. The report did not go behind or beyond the terms of a final judgment of the High Court and get “both sides”. Newspapers are not required to ‘balance’ an adverse court ruling by affording the unsuccessful party an opportunity to comment. The article is a fair, accurate and balanced summary of the Court’s decision and the reasoning therein.

The complaint is not upheld.

Press Council members considering this complaint were Aroha Beck, Ruth Buddicom, Kate Coughlan, Penny Harding, Keith Lees, Clive Lind and Denis McLean.

Barry Paterson and John Gardner took no part in the consideration of this complaint