Grace Millane trial: Reporting of intimate details inappropriate - law expert

Gallavin questioned whether some of the details aired were really in the public interest.
Gallavin questioned whether some of the details aired were really in the public interest. Photo credit: Grace Millane/Facebook.

The level of detail in the Grace Millane murder trial reported by the media has been described as unusual. 

Massey University law professor Chris Gallavin said media covering the trial should not have shared intimate details of the young woman's private life.

"Airing Grace's sexual history, or preference, raises eyebrows," said Gallavin. 

The three-week trial at the High Court in Auckland was covered widely here and overseas, with much of it focused on the 22-year-old's personal life. Her killer was ultimately convicted of murder.

Gallavin questioned whether some of the details aired were really in the public interest. 

"To whether that is really in the public interest, many people would say that effectively blackens her character."

Gallavin said it was unfair to the memory of a victim who could not defend herself and protect her own privacy. 

He also believes the jury in the Grace Millane murder trial had their minds made up before deliberations began. The jury took just five hours to reach a guilty verdict.

"Juries can take quite considerable time to consider their verdicts and in a case like this, while it's relatively straightforward, as far as the law is concerned there are a number of different twists and turns in relation to the law of murder in New Zealand."

The man convicted of her murder still has name suppression. He will be sentenced in February. 

 

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