Parliament

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

 

Govt. Puts Prosecution Risks On NZ Peace Keepers


GOVERNMENT PUTS PROSECUTION RISKS ON NEW ZEALAND PEACE KEEPERS

ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today that New Zealand peace keepers are exposed to politically driven prosecution under a Bill being pushed through today. This Government does as little as it can get away with for defence. So it is rushing this through without caring about the implications.

The Bill will give a new International Criminal Court powers to overrule our courts. “It can try New Zealanders again if it doesn’t like the outcome of a New Zealand trial. It can apply its own ‘law’.

“That law breaches other basic rights in New Zealand law including the right to hear and test the evidence of witnesses against you.

“The US strongly opposes the Court. The Select Committee considering this Bill did not tell Parliament of that opposition.

“The US is justifiably concerned that prosecutions will be misused by enemies to harass the military of countries that believe in the Rule of Law.

“The new Court will be controlled by majority vote of countries that sign up. Mr Franks explained “Many are not democracies. Others see justice as politics under another label, like Robert Mugabe”.

“If this law had applied while New Zealand soldiers were in Malaya they could be facing prosecution for performing their duties. For example, we cut off supplies to terrorists by containing potential sympathisers in fenced villages. That could now be a ‘crime against humanity’.

A Bill before the US legislature would cut off US military assistance to countries which join the Court. That US Bill would prohibit the US from helping to rescue New Zealanders from misuse of prosecution powers, if New Zealand joins the court.

The International Court can impose fines and make New Zealand pay costs and reparations. “Some of the definitions of ‘war crimes’ are so wide that they could catch things many decent New Zealanders have done. Even our Army Cadet School in Waiouru might have been a crime, because it enlisted boys under 15”.

“The Select Committee should have been informed on all the issues. National members are as culpable as Labour. They should have asked to hear from New Zealand soldiers with direct war experience.


“Soldiers will be exposed while the politicians who send them on missions can hide from the risks. Lives will be lost if sensible military decisions are delayed by soldiers seeking legal back-cover, to ensure they are not left on their own to face the prosecutors.

This needs far wider public discussion before New Zealand promises to hand over its own people into the power of foreign lawyers,” said Stephen Franks.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

Nearly ten weeks after the huge Hong Kong protests began, managing to still get 1.7 million people onto the streets in the rain is a testament to how strong the pro-democracy movement has become...

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:


Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels