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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

How to Find the Reported Judicial Decision on the David Bain Re-Trial

The blogosphere has featured many posts on many blogs regarding David Bain's guilt or innocence regarding the homicide of his family. We have refused to participate in this speculation and have made our opinions on speculating on the Bain case before the court has ruled clear. I do not intend to break this self-imposed rule here today, you will not hear my opinion as to his guilt or innocence until after the verdict is in and I have read the reported decision (or unreported as the case may be) as despite the twitter updates, the articles, the live streaming and the "in depth" takes on the evidence provided by the media, unless you have sat in the court room and seen and heard only what the jury has had presented to it you cannot know one way or the other what the correct verdict should be.

However, when the case has been decided, I have no moral qualms about examining the court's report on the case and seeing what I think. As a law student it is pretty easy for me to gain a copy of a decision or a report on a case but it is also easy for the public; you just have to know where to look. So, here are three methods of gaining copies of the court's judicial report on the case online to save you having to navigate a law library or even leave your computer:

Judicial Decisions Online publishes all New Zealand Supreme Court, Court of Appeal (post 1 January 2003) and all High Court (post August 2005) decisions, provided they are not subject to limited restrictions, following delivery to the parties but not earlier than three days after the decisions are given. Simply search for the case - Bain, High Court, Christchurch, etc..

Courts of New Zealand publishes judicial decisions of public interest and you can enter your email address and subscribe to be notified when new decisions are added. Visit the site, click on "from the courts" click on "judicial decisions" click on "judicial decisions of public interest" - the subscription box in in the left hand column.

The New Zealand Legal Information Institute is a joint project of the University of Otago Faculty of Law, the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law and the Australasian Legal Information Institute. NZLII is not updated as quickly as the other sites but given the interest in the David Bain trial I would expect the judgement to go up pretty shortly after it becomes available.

David Bain 111 Call "I Shot the Prick" - Court Decisions Available Online UPDATED


  1. Very useful. Thanks. I am standing by with baited breath for the judgement.

  2. Something noticable about the Bain retrial is that it's been conducted in a way that invites the public to speculate even more than they usually would during a criminal trial. The intense use of electronic media to provide real-time reporting is part of it, but the actual showmanship of the trial itself is pretty suss - there seems to have been a lot of performing to the camera and rhetoric aimed at swaying public opinion towards emotive conclusions. It's also been needlessly undermining of the dignity of the people involved (in my opinion).

    Recent blog post: More "nuisance"-ing


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