4.3 Press sheets

As a media representative attending a criminal jurisdiction sitting of a District Court you have access to press sheets, which detail the name, address, date of birth and occupation of the defendant, and the charges laid against them. A press sheet will not provide you with any information on suppression orders, which may be granted subsequently.

To assist the media’s access to court information, the following system for press sheets is in place:

Press sheets:

  • are distributed to the press bench or made available to media on request
  • are kept in a designated space, known to both court staff and media
  • are available on the day of first appearance and are not reprinted if lost or damaged
  • are retained for one month and then destroyed one month from the date of first appearance
  • are provided to media as a courtesy and, as the property of the court, they must not leave the courthouse.

It is important to note that:

  • charges may have been amended or withdrawn since the date of first appearance and are not updated on the press sheet, therefore there is a risk that the information on the press sheet may not be accurate after first appearance
  • suppression orders may have been made, or automatic suppression may apply, therefore media must check with court staff before publishing information
  • a copy of the disclaimer is available where the press sheets are stored and on the Ministry’s website.

Press sheets are only provided in relation to the first appearance of the defendant and are not provided for any subsequent appearances.

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