Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A secret trial

The media is reporting that an Auckland man has been charged with terrorism. Unfortunately, that's all we know, because all details have been suppressed. Who are they? What are they alleged to have done? Its all secret.

There may be good reason for some of this (e.g. protection of the right to a fair trial, as occurred in the Police rape cases). But we can't judge, because that's secret too. So, we're left with the fact that an unnamed man has been charged with unspecified offences over unpublishable allegations, with no reason for any of it. And that seems a long, long way from the open justice we have a right to in New Zealand. Such secrecy is corrosive of the justice system, and corrosive of public trust. And given the nature of the charges, that is not something we can afford.