LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – It may be no Harry Potter, but the sex abuse book-that-won’t go away is back, following a New Zealand Court of Appeal ruling – with certain conditions.
The Court of Appeal’s decision to lift the ban previously imposed on Foxton author Anne Hunt’s book which alleges sex abuse by a health professional who was cleared of charged against him.
The book claims that a therapist, named “A”, abused a party, named “W”, during therapy. Justice Wild found the book to be in contempt of court in May and fined Hunt $1000, along with an order to pay $15,000 to A. Remaining copies of the book were ordered to be destroyed.
However, the Court of Appeal lifted the orders, saying the questions raised by the book were whether the justice was obtained for “A” and public discussion should not be “closed down” notwithstanding that “W” was found not guilty of any criminal offence.
The case is a thorn in the side of the solicitor general, Dr David Collins QC, who advised Hunt on the book prior to publication. Disputes arose between herself and Dr Collins as to exactly what advice was given, with Hunt saying she deleted the portions that Dr Collins had indicated while Dr Collins said he marked certain sections ‘for future discussion’.
The Court of Appeal said Hunt was not in contempt of court or in breach of confidence. It said there was no obligation for Hunt to apply to the court to use material from court hearings provided to her by W.
Hunt did not breach W’s confidence as W expressly authorised her to have access to her documentation and to publish.