Up skirt, down blouse, side boob – thou shalt not record it

As if we really needed a legal definition of this.  Sometimes real life is just so much funnier than it intends to be.

A Tauranga man who secretly filmed down a woman’s blouse has failed in a bid to claim the law only prohibits filming up a woman’s clothing.

Leonard George Diffin, 54, tried to argue the unusual legal loophole in peeping Tom laws which aim to stop illegal intimate recordings being made.

You have to give Leonard some credit here for giving it a try.  

Diffin also appealed another charge related to recordings of an elderly woman’s bra and cleavage. It was on this count that he trotted out his unique legal defence.

The Court of Appeal summarised his appeal, saying it raised one question of law: “Whether the legislation prohibits ‘down-blouse’ recording” as opposed to what is normally referred to as “up-skirt” recording.

Diffin’s lawyer argued that “because [the law] only speaks of recordings made ‘from beneath or under’ clothing, it prohibits only ‘up-blouse’ or ‘up-skirt’ recording”.

Delivering the decision for the Court of Appeal, Justice Forrest Miller said the “distinguishing quality” of the recordings was whether it “captures a view of the woman’s breasts that she did not intend others to see”.

Justice Miller said “under” did not only mean “lower than” or “beneath”.

“In context, ‘under’ connotes ‘inside’ or ‘within’ clothing. Commonsense supports this analysis. Because it opens at the neck, a blouse or similar common upper garment is more likely to reveal a view of the breasts from above than below, and we see no reason why the legislature should have chosen to permit one and prohibit the other.”

The judge said the legislative history showed the law was colloquially referred to as “down-blouse and up-skirt recording”.

So it is still legal to look, but not to record.

I think.

Illegal down-blouse recording?  That’s going to cramp the style of people in shopping mall atriums for sure.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.