Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


ACT Proposes Bill To Restore Open Courts

“I am delighted that Justices Potter and Nicholson have upheld freedom of speech as a fundamental right. The Herald’s principled campaign has served us all,” said ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks

Mr Franks was commenting on yesterdays High Court ruling that Judge David Harvey had overlooked the Bill of Rights in granting name suppression to an American billionaire caught smuggling cannabis into New Zealand.

“Assuming he does not appeal successfully, there is still a challenge. The ‘rulers know best’ school of lawyers could drown freedom under the exceptions left by the High Court judgement. I will draft a Private Members Bill to protect against that.

“The judgement is a fragile protection when a Judge can suppress if he or she explains that it is ‘demonstrably justified’.

“The risk comes from the cancerous growth of privacy law. References to privacy principles have been put into statues by well-meaning, but legally ignorant politicians. These have given lawyers the room to turn ancient principles on their head. In one generation the right to know has become the right to hide. The Official Information Act of 20 years ago, goes in the opposite direction to the Privacy Act of 1993.

“Of course privacy is a value to be protected. But it should never hide wrong doing. It lets people throttle and thwart those who seek to find out or tell the truth about them.

“Privacy principles have acquired a life of their own unrelated to the proper scope of privacy law. They now support an army of rule makers and compliance officers, and those who want to stifle their own reputations.

“A good first step would be to restore the basic principle that offender name suppression should apply only when essential to protect a victim who supports that suppression. My private Members Bill will provide for this.

“Minister of Justice, Phil Goff, has recently stated support for restricting name suppression in relation to sex offenders. I welcome that, but not if it is confined to that narrow category.

“We must restore the principle of open Courts. Our parents and grand parents assumed that was basic to justice. If my Bill is over taken by a sensible Government measure I will be pleased, provided it is wide enough, and more than lip service. It must not leave room for the ‘privacy’ busy bodies to resurrect their restrictions on newly devised grounds,” said Stephen Franks.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news