Someone to Watch Over Me by Trevor Plumbly

Checks and Balances The killing of children anywhere is always hard to come to terms with, but it gets tougher when it happens in your own home town. There’s little doubt now that Edward Livingstone was a troubled soul, with a history of sexual violence against his partner Katherine, which culminated in her being granted a protection order in May 2013. For some strange reason, this order wasn’t finalised till August of that year. Later, during a supervised visit to their two children aged 6 and 9, Livingstone presented the children with… Read More

Whatever Happened to Outrage by Trevor Plumbly

Swings and Roundabouts New Zealand is a green and peasant land on the face of it, relatively crime free by most other standards and, if the tourist publicity image is to be believed, populated by easy-going folk with a love of the great outdoors, rugby and livestock. But, like everywhere else, we’ve got our dark spots and, just like everywhere else, we’re not quite sure what to do about them. We basically operate under the British system, which god knows has tried for centuries to get to grips with crime. Hanging, hard labour,… Read More

A Policeman’s Lot is not a Happy One by Trevor Plumbly

The Police under Scrutiny Wherever you are these days, not many weeks pass without allegations being levelled at the police ranging from incompetence to corruption. Such allegations are usually whipped up to a frenzy by the media and eagerly lapped up by a scandal-thirsty public. It’s interesting how the relationship between the public and the police has altered over time. Not that long ago the idea of an ‘Independent Police Conduct Authority’ would have been judged as unnecessary by the judiciary and the force itself, but now questioning police performance is regarded… Read More

Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp by Angela Caldin

Have you ever wondered, as I have, why the infamous US detention camp is on the island of Cuba in the first place, given that the two nations are enemies? How did the place where the beautiful guantanamera of song originates come to be chosen as the site of the prison for the hundreds of so-called enemy combatants who were picked up by the US in the wake of 9/11? And have you ever wondered why so many of them are still there even though they have been cleared for release? Why… Read More

The Jury Should Retire. By Trevor Plumbly

In a recent murder trial down here, the fact that the accused had extremely violent tendencies and had carried out acts of vandalism was withheld from the jury on the grounds that it might influence their decision on the case before them. After he was acquitted and the broader facts were made public, there was an angry, and to my mind, justified outcry from the public, followed by the usual somewhat paternalistic response from the Minister of Justice and the legal profession. What struck me as odd was that the public ire… Read More