Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


No Right Turn: A Shameful (Sedition) Verdict

No Right Turn:

A Shameful Verdict

Tim Selwyn has been found guilty of sedition. This is a shameful verdict, and a major step backwards for freedom of speech in this country. Punishing people for their words and intentions rather than their actions should require meeting a very high threshold, and one which our sedition law, with its vague references to "violence, disorder, and lawlessness" simply does not come close to. While superficially covering incitements to riot and such, historically this law has been used to cover such "incitements" as encouraging civil disobediance of unjust laws (for example, those relating to conscription, or Depression-era unemployment taxes), encouraging political opposition to government policy (for example, of Depression-era welfare policies which discriminated against unmarried workers), and selling or publishing communist literature which advocated global revolution and an end to capitalism at some undefined point in the future.

Directly inciting a riot may be "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre" - but none of this is. And neither were Selwyn's pamphlets. While encouraging "like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action of their own", no specific crime is being incited. Instead, it's just a strongly-worded call to action - and it should be protected as such.

By finding Selwyn guilty, the jury have effectively revived sedition in New Zealand, and opened the door to further prosecutions for what is effectively a political crime. And that is not something any of us should welcome.

I've been told that Selwyn will likely appeal to the High Court on BORA grounds, and we just have to hope he succeeds.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news