Now you see them, now you don’t
Is the glare of publicity too harsh for Family Courts to endure?, ask Citizens for Justice. They note that:
On or about 29 July 2005, at about 5pm, exactly 29 days – just 4 weeks and 1 day – after the new “Care of Children Act 2004” came into effect, all those beautiful Family Court Flowers [ie: published FC decisions] had mysteriously died, or at least, disappeared, leaving little trace in the blackened and scorched earth that remained. The entire list, published and presented for general, global public consumption on the Family Courts’ website, at http://www.justice.govt.nz/family/decisions/ had suddenly, without apparent warning or explanation, been deleted, the link deactivated, and replaced on almost every page on the site, with charcoal lettering as shown below
C4J goes on to explain to the uninitiated about how to retrieve old web pages from search engine caches, so all the cases (which have been unwisely left on the site) , have now been safely downloaded to at least half a dozen personal archives around the country.
It seems someone whose case was published has complained.
The Family Court says:
“The decisions have been removed due to updates taking
place. They should be up and running within the next few days.
Just to let you know (and thanks for the link etc), we eventually got 181 of those Published Decisions.
Anyone can download the complete collection from here
It’s their responsibility what they do with them, but we think most of the decisions were actually published illegally by the FCt, and that’s why they “disappeared”… (If one person was complaining, wouldn’t you just remove their case? No one would even have noticed…)
Funny thing is, the Courts webmaster still hasn’t actually removed a lot of the PDFs, and you can still download many of them from there if you want, using this link.
Who knows, there may be some we missed… (If you find any more, pls let us know?)
Here’s what the Decisions page says now:
“Access to the judgments on the website has been disabled temporarily to effect some necessary changes. As soon as these have been completed access will be enabled.”
Guess they just have to keep on using that word: “Access”!!
So, everyone, make sure you take “Custody” of a copy of the Published Decisions file.
Thanks for the link to 181 Published Files. Handy for self-litigators wanting case law. Curious to see if cases published are less than 6 months old from order made, as my understanding they cant be Published for a period of 6 months. Maybe that’s why they were pulled also.