16 Feb 2011

QC to investigate name suppression mishap

4:02 pm on 16 February 2011

The Law Society's immediate past president has been appointed to look into the accidental naming of two sexual abuse victims in an online court judgment.

The names of victims of sexual abuse are automatically suppressed by law but they appeared in a sentencing decision on an official courts website earlier in February.

Justice Minister Simon Power says the judge sent the decision to officials with no suppression orders on it and marked to publish.

He described the breach as totally unacceptable and has appointed John Marshall, QC, to investigate what went wrong.

Mr Marshall will look at how the ministry processes decisions before putting them online.

Mr Power says the inquiry will not look into how judges mark their rulings for distribution because that is a matter for the Chief High Court judge.

The inquiry is expected to take several weeks.