IT IS APPROPRIATE that the primary interest of the judiciary is to ensure a fair trial, but there are too many examples of suppression orders being given when they do not need to be, Minter Ellison chairman Peter Bartlett said in an interview with Lawyers Weekly this week.
He compared the interests of the media to those of the judiciary, noting that while the media aims to inform the public, the latter will seek to protect fair trials by allowing suppression of information.
“There are examples of suppression orders being given in circumstances they did not need to be given, or they go further than necessary to protect the interests of a fair trial”.
In this week’s The Whole Truth interview on page 14, Bartlett said he looks forward to presenting a paper at the annual conference of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration on this matter. “This will be an opportunity to put to judges directly which suppression orders should not be given as regularly as they are, why the drafting of them is very important and why they shouldn’t be wider than they need to be,” he said.