A mistrial for Oscar Pistorius? We think not

posted in Musings on Media on by

by Dario Milo and Stuart Scott

On Sunday night, Australia’s Channel 7 broadcast a video showing Oscar Pistorius apparently re-enacting various moments from the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp.

The footage was reportedly filmed in October 2013 by a US company, The Evidence Room, and reports say that it was commissioned by the defence team to assist with trial preparation in order to reconstruct Oscar’s version of events.

Since the broadcast, there has been a cloudburst of media attention dedicated to the issue and what it means for the trial.  Indeed, various reports around the world have used buzz words like “mistrial” quite liberally.

But could the publication of the video down under amount to a mistrial?

We submit not.

Continue reading

The Oscar Trial and the curious case of the media orders

posted in Musings on Media on by

by Dario Milo and Stuart Scott

In an article we wrote for Sunday Times last week we briefly touched on three orders relating to the media that we submit were incorrectly made by Judge Masipa during the Oscar Pistorius trial (for more detail on the first two orders see the earlier post on broadcasting the Oscar trial).

The third order in question related to the banning of any further publication of the exhibits marked “PPP” and “QQQ” (essentially the psychiatric and psychological reports compiled while Oscar was at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital), which went beyond the official findings that were read into the record during proceedings.

Continue reading

Trial rulings throw up a media freedom paradox

posted in Musings on Media on by
Trial rulings throw up a media freedom paradox by Dario Milo and Stuart Scott

                  by Dario Milo and Stuart Scott published in Sunday Times 6 July 2014

 

 

Is there room for a ‘right to be forgotten’ in South Africa?

posted in Musings on Media on by

By Dario Milo and Avani Singh

The recent European Court of Justice ruling (available here) that effectively granted a Spanish national ‘a right to be forgotten’ has caused much stir as we wait to see precisely what implications this decision will have.  As expected, Google has reportedly received a flood of requests from people seeking to have their information removed from the Google search engine, including politicians, public figures and persons with criminal records.  Indeed, in response to the European Court of Justice’s ruling, Google has already taken steps to operationalise this decision, having now released an online form (available here) for users to submit requests and announced that it is forming a committee to advise on how best to implement the decision.

Continue reading

Broadcasting the Oscar Pistorius criminal trial

posted in Musings on Media on by

In the past weeks, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been able to hear and see on television, radio and the Internet the evidence being led in the criminal trial of Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s morning last year. He also faces three charges of offences under the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 for allegedly discharging a firearm in a public place (relating to the incidents at Tasha’s and the sunroof shooting) and the alleged possession of ammunition that he was, so the state argues, not properly licensed to possess. The case kicks off again next week Monday for the defence to lead its evidence (with Oscar widely expected to give evidence), after being postponed due to the illness of one of the assessors. Continue reading