Cameron Slater has to be his own worst enemy in court. David Fisher at the Herald reported on the current latest saga.
The breaches have cost Slater $1500 in a judgment in which he was told “there is a strong expectation that those who ignore court orders are brought to account”.
The ruling is the latest from Justice Raynor Asher in the long-running defamation case brought by businessman Matthew Blomfield against Slater for articles published on the Whale Oil blog.
Six of the contempt findings related to an undertaking by Slater not to publish anything about Mr Blomfield that was not in the public domain through a “reputable media source”.
The final contempt was in relation to details which were published from a confidential, unsuccessful, settlement conference.
But “to be fair”, I have to say that six of the offences appear to have been either leftovers caused by Cameron Slater’s usual technical incompetence in cleaning up, or poor moderation that breached an undertaking previously given to the court. Sloppy but typical..
As Justice Asher says in his judgement:-
However, as was acknowledged in submissions by Mr Slater, there are electronic techniques whereby references to particular words and names can be removed en masse. Mr Slater claims to be a journalist and was indeed found to be a journalist.15 In these circumstances there was a particular duty on him to ensure that the undertaking was complied with, and that reasonable measures were put in place by him to ensure any further postings on his site by third parties did not breach the undertaking.
The minor breaches that I have outlined were not intended to offend. By and large they were short statements left over after Mr Slater had made efforts to remove all offending material, or new statements which referred to current proceedings in a way that is pejorative of Mr Blomfield, but in a different and much more mild way than the earlier allegedly defamatory statements. He made attempts to comply with the undertaking.
As I pointed out years ago, Cameron Slater is not any kind of journalist, and Whaleoil is a blog not a news medium. When he conveniently decided to claim he was one, I thought and still think that it was more about protecting his ‘sources’ (and probably his paying clients) by abusing the legal protections that journalists need. While they are weak, they can be used to delay. And that is exactly how Cameron Slater is deliberately using them. The repeated time wasting appeals against an order of the High Court to release the names of his supplier(s) of Matthew Blomfield’s private information.
Cameron Slater didn’t and still doesn’t appear to be interested in picking up the responsibilities of being a journalist that accompany the privileges.
Part of that is because he is sloppy and irresponsible. But also because I didn’t think that he isn’t mentally capable of carrying the responsibilities of being a journalist then, and I certainly don’t think he is now. He thinks like to be a journalist is to be a like a criminal. His attempts earlier this year to pay someone to try to hack into my servers in clear violations of the Crimes Act is just another instance of that.
But as a helpful programmer and blogger, I’ll see if I can find some time to run a sweep through the public areas of his site sometime in the next few months. Just to help out the court and see how this “journalist” is doing on cleanup.
Needless to say, Cameron Slater’s attempt to revoke the undertaking…
 When the matter was originally before the Manukau District Court, on 1 October 2012 at a conference before Judge Charles Blackie, Mr Slater’s counsel at2 the time Mr Williams orally undertook:
… that there would be no further publication concerning Mr Blomfield
and/or his associates on the blog site or any other blog site under the control
of Mr Slater or at the behest of Mr Slater, other than that might relate to
information that is already in the public domain via a reputable media
source, for example radio, television or radio or weekly newspapers.
 It was recorded by Judge Blackie in his minute that counsel had “indicated on behalf of his client” that the publications would not be made. 3 Despite the slightly unusual wording, Mr Slater accepts that there was an undertaking given to the Court in the terms set out. This was a sensible concession on his part, as the Judge appeared to treat what Mr Williams had said as an undertaking, and the parties have acted since on the basis that there was an undertaking which was binding on Mr Slater. Mr Slater now seeks to have it revoked.
Needless to say that didn’t happen. But I had to laugh at this comment in the judgement.
 Mr Slater argued for a discharge. Following the hearing I received further submissions from Mr Slater and Mr Blomfield on this matter. Mr Slater filed lengthy submissions, including over 200 pages of blog articles and affidavits, that expanded his argument that what he has said about Mr Blomfield is true.
 This is not the appropriate forum to canvass those arguments, which are particularly complex. Suffice to say that the truth of the allegations against Mr Blomfield will be vehemently put forward and strongly contested at trial. I am not persuaded that the undertaking should be discharged. It was voluntarily given, and given the wide and extreme nature of the allegations that were the subject of the claim, it was appropriate. Nothing has happened to change that position.
Anyone who has watched Cameron Slater in court knows that, like so many of the other self-represented with delusions of legal knowledge, he is a great believer in the power of the printer rather than clear legal argument. Like all of those I have had the misfortune to observe, they also treat opportunities in court for dribbling on about legal irrelevancies for the current purpose of the court.
But there is the seventh and much more serious contempt based on violations of court ordered confidentiality. However I will deal with that in a separate post.