Thursday, November 10, 2011

Justice for Pike River

On 19 November 2010, the Pike River mine exploded, killing 29 miners. Today, three men were charged with 25 health and safety charges over the explosion. Good. The evidence that has emerged through the commission of inquiry into the disaster shows that safety standards at the mine were lax, and this appears to have contributed to the deaths. Those responsible need to be held to account for that. Companies and bosses should not be allowed to effectively murder their workers in the name of higher profits.

An odd twist is that at least one of the accused appears to be subject to a name suppression order. I'm boggled as to how this can be the case. This isn't a crime affecting a minor, where automatic suppression would be justified. It doesn't seem to serve the interests of justice either. Instead, name suppression here serves simply to shield corporate sociopaths from the social consequences of their actions. And that drags the entire system of suppression, and the law itself, into disrepute.