There are reasons why we are committed to open justice. They urge the importance in nearly all cases of court hearings being held in public. They have led to the ample availability of parties’ positions, as well as the eventual published reasons for judicial decision. Nowadays, not only are submissions in the High Court published on the internet, but counsel face the ordeal of broadcast speech – and vision. Perhaps, too much information.
How much more obvious, then, is the need to require our elected representatives and especially their executive delegates, the Ministry and Cabinet, to allow us sufficient information to check them, test them, and remind them of their representative capacity? My suggestion is that this is socially and politically as important as the constitutional freedom of political communication. Like that implication eventually discovered by the High Court (on thoroughly Whitlamesque grounds), this irreducible need for information about government is not to be seen through an individualist prism: it is not a personal right, but rather an imperative of a representative, parliamentary, democracy.