Approaching the bloggy benchby Toby Manhire
David Harvey, the judge who has stood down from the Kim Dotcom case, writes insightfully on judges, blogs and social media.
The district court judge’s quip, “We have seen the enemy, and it is U.S.,” made during a meeting about the proposed TPP trade agreement, meant he had to recuse himself from the Kim Dotcom extradition case. And so he did.
But the great shame of it all is that Harvey is far and away the most internet-literate of New Zealand’s judges. A reminder of that comes in a thoughtful piece Harvey has written for NZLawyer Extra, on the subject of judges who blog and tweet and all that.
The article is replete with examples, and rewards a proper read.
Surveying the state of the debate in the UK, the US and Australia, Judge Harvey notes that while there will always remain a “risk that social media engagement by a judge could go horribly wrong”, why should judges not “blog about aspects of their jobs, professional issues, and the like, as long as nothing is said that might compromise the appearance of neutrality in a case”?
Equal care should be applied by judges dipping their toes into social media.
The example of the New York judge was moved sideways after apparently updating his Facebook page from the bench, and posting a photo of his busy courtroom, is one to avoid.
But such isolated cases are not cause for a blanket prohibition. Harvey quotes the “sage” advice of one US judge:
All judges and court staff using social media websites would do well to remember the advice given in the 1980s television show Hill Street Blues by dispatch Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: ‘Hey, let’s be careful out there.’
The Automobile Association wants a faster rollout of 10,000 new park and ride spaces planned for Auckland.Read more
With Peter Dunne stepping down, National has lost a key ally in Parliament.Read more
With many asking whether either protagonist in the US-North Korea nuclear stand-off is in his right mind, the world is on the brink.Read more
The coffee roaster has joined forces with an Auckland obstetrician on a special initiative to help fund crucial childbirth care for women in Uganda.Read more
The Listener journalist and judge who resigned from the EY Business Journalism Awards reflects on the future of corporate-sponsored media awards.Read more
There really is a second brain in your gut – and you can make it work smarter, says Dr Michael Mosley.Read more
Pablos Art Studios and Room 5 are tapping in to the connection between creativity and well-being.Read more
Peter Dunne is standing down after 33 years as Ōhāriu's MP, saying voter sentiment in the electorate has shifted and there is a mood for change.Read more