Power to clear court

197 Power to clear court


A court may make an order excluding from the whole or any part of any proceeding in respect of an offence all or any persons other than the following:


the presiding judicial officer and jury:


the prosecutor:


the defendant and any person who is for the time being acting as custodian of the defendant:


any lawyer engaged in the proceedings:


any officer of the court:


the Police employee in charge of the case.


The court may make an order under subsection (1) only if the court is satisfied that—


the order is necessary to avoid—


undue disruption to the conduct of the proceedings; or


prejudicing the security or defence of New Zealand; or


a real risk of prejudice to a fair trial; or


endangering the safety of any person; or


prejudicing the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation and detection of offences; and


a suppression order is not sufficient to avoid that risk.


Even if an order is made under subsection (1), the announcement of the verdict or decision of the court, and the passing of sentence, must take place in public; but, if the court is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist, it may decline to state in public all or any of the facts, reasons, or other considerations that it has taken into account in reaching its decision or verdict, or in determining the sentence.


The power conferred by this section is in substitution for any power to clear the court that a court may have had under any inherent jurisdiction or any rule of law.

Compare: 1985 No 120 s 138(2)(c), (5), (6)