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

 


Search Bill Progresses – No Agreement on SFO

Debate over the Search and Surveillance Bill continued on Tuesday night, but Labour and National were unable to reach agreement on the controversial bill.

The bill arose out of a 2007 Law Commission report that said legislation relating to the search and surveillance powers of authorities was in need of an overhaul.

A bill introduced in 2008 was discharged and in 2009 another bill (though identical in content) was introduced, but made slow progress.

Then in August 2011 the Supreme Court ruled the police had illegally used hidden cameras to gather evidence in the Operation 8 case which centred around the 2007 Urewera raids.

Following this National and Labour could not agree on a permanent legislative response and instead agreed on an interim law which the Government said was necessary to ensure ongoing police investigations could continue.

This law expires in April and the House debated today the bill which replaces that legislation as well as covering wider issues.

Labour’s Charles Chauvel said tonight the Government had moved to meet some of his party’s concerns, but not enough for it support the bill.

Chauvel said bill as it was reported from select committee would have allowed the police to get a warrant and seize material from the media and the media could then apply to a district court judge to protect their sources.

Chauvel said the Government was now moving amendments that the material seized by police would now be held by the courts until a High Court Judge decided whether a journalist’s source should be protected.

Journalistic privilege was better protected, but Labour was not happy that the Serious Fraud Office were not covered, he said.

David Parker underlined Labour’s concerns that the SFO did not have to get a warrant from the courts to search and seize documents and said they would continue to oppose the bill

Justice Minister Judith Collins said she welcomed Labour’s input and attempt to reach agreement.

She said fears that police could release information seized in searches on media were incorrect and they could not compel a journalist to tell them their source unless a judge ordered them to do so.

Collins said the non-inclusion of the Serious Fraud Office was because it had never been part of the bill as it was drafted when the last Labour Government had been planning to disband the SFO.


The chain of events had meant that it was not possible to include the SFO in the bill at this stage without the issue going before a select committee.

The SFO law had been in place for many years and the issue of the SFO demanding papers off the media had only come up once (with the National Business Review last year).

The SFO’s production examination powers were ``fairly refined’’ and did not apply to the general public as police warrants did, she said.

Labour’s Lianne Dalziel said the SFO regularly used its powers and they should be some oversight of them.

Despite Labour’s disapproval National will pass the bill with support from ACT and United Future.

The bill completed its committee stage by 61 to 59 with National, ACT and United Future supporting and was reported with amendment.

MPs began the second reading debate on the stage of the Regulatory Reform Bill and Regulatory Reform (Repeals) Bill.


**
ParliamentToday.co.nz is a breaking news source for New Zealand parliamentary business featuring broadcast daily news reports.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Crisis In Greece

Greece, as the cradle of democracy, is getting no brownie points for actually practicing it. The decision by the Greek government to go back to the people for a mandate for the bailout terms being proposed by the Eurozone seems entirely appropriate. More>>

ALSO:

Stories Of Scoop: Alastair Thompson, Scoop Media & The Cost Of Free Journalism

How does a news organization that cares about authentic journalism and has a mission to effect “positive change” continue to operate in these times of derivative storytelling when advertising dollars are no longer determined by the quality of editorial content? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Pope’s Encyclical On Climate Change

The spread of market mechanisms into every facet of life – as health, education and the environment get treated as mere commodities – has seen economic efficiency worshipped in its own right as a totem, and as a substitute for morality. The Laudato Si encyclical issued today by Pope Francis on climate change and the environment goes some away to restoring a sane balance. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Turns Sixteen: How Scoop's “Ethical Paywall” Model Has Changed Everything

As of this month, a broad range of professional organisations, including constitutional institutions, government agencies & departments, NGOs, Unions, CRIs, law firms, PR agencies, accountancy firms, media organisations, libraries and businesses - all of which make regular use of Scoop in their daily work and for professional research - have joined Scoop’s new “Ethical Paywall” copyright licensing scheme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Sepp Blatter Resignation

Any initial elation at Sepp Blatter’s resignation as the overlord of FIFA will be tempered by his declared intention to stay on until at least December and possibly March 2016, to enable his successor to be elected. Has FIFA got no existing succession plan that could kick in before this? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The FIFA Scandal, And Similar Dirty Deal

With the US now investigating FIFA’s racketeering and money-laundering activities and the Swiss also looking at the bribes that went into the choice of Russia and Qatar as upcoming FIFA venues, the capos at FIFA are taking the fall for the boss of all bosses, Sepp Blatter - who has somehow been blissfully unaware of the dirty payoffs and extortion rackets conducted on his watch ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news