Permanent name suppression figures halved

  • Amy Adams
Justice

The number of defendants gaining permanent name suppression has dropped significantly since the Government tightened the rules, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 changed how name suppression is granted and the numbers of defendants receiving permanent name suppression have now halved.  A key change was raising the threshold for a defendant to gain suppression from ‘undue hardship’ to ‘extreme hardship’.

In 2011, 640 people received permanent name suppression in the High Court and District Courts. By 2015, the number had dropped to 317.

The number of defendants receiving interim name suppression has remained relatively static, with 1232 in 2011 falling slightly to 1191 in 2015.

“New Zealanders made it clear they thought too many people were getting permanent name suppression. At the same time there are legitimate circumstances where a defendant’s name needs to be suppressed such as to protect the victims or ensure a fair trial,” says Ms Adams.

"The law as it is now framed appears to be striking a better balance between the interests of the parties involved and the public's right to know."

Breakdown:

2011: 640 suppression orders

2012: 407 suppression orders

2013: 354 suppression orders

2014: 336 suppression orders

2015: 317 suppression orders.