Diluting Prejudice

47 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2019

Date Written: August 1, 2019


This paper is about the steps that may be taken to dilute but not totally eliminate the prejudicial effect of on-line material that relates to a defendant about to stand trial. It is posited upon the fact that jurors, despite strong judicial directions, will go on-line to seek out information relevant to the case that they are trying. The solution lies in the use of what could be described as “take-down” orders whereby material is removed from websites and de-indexed from search engines during the course of the trial to eliminate or dilute any prejudice that may otherwise arise. The remedy of a “take-down” order restores the qualities of practical and partial obscurity of prejudicial information that was a characteristic of the pre-Digital Paradigm. The paper also discusses the issue of juror contempt in light of proposed changes to the law in the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt) Bill.

Keywords: Juries, Juror Prejudice, Take-Down Orders, Googling Jurors

Suggested Citation

Harvey, David John, Diluting Prejudice (August 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3433826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3433826

David John Harvey (Contact Author)

University of Auckland ( email )

Auckland, 1010
New Zealand

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