Parliament

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

 

Anti-Smacking Campaign Dishonesty

Anti-Smacking Campaign Dishonesty

Stephen Franks

Friday, 10 June 2005 Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks today renewed his attack on the Crimes (Abolition of Force As a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill.

"Closer study suggests that Sue Bradford’s incomprehension of the existing law might be a better explanation than deception for her false claim that she would not necessarily criminalise people who smacked children.

"Repeal of section 59 would leave parents completely exposed to the common law definitions of assault. Any intentional and unwelcome touching can qualify. Of course that is what the zealots want, so that they can select unfortunate victims for show trials.

"But Ms Bradford may not understand what she is doing. Her bill's title and its purpose clause 3 say that it is to amend the Crimes Act to "abolish the use of reasonable force by parents as a justification for disciplining children". Section 59 has never said that reasonable force is a justification for discipline. What it says is that a child discipline purpose is a justification for applying reasonable force. These are not just technical quibbles. They mean quite different things.

"On the other hand I am not inclined to excuse entirely the falsity of her claims. I have debated these issues in public with Ms Bradford in at least five different forums. A detailed paper records the rebuttal points in one of those debates at

http://www.act.org.nz/item.aspx/21538.

"Her only answer to fears of a misuse of her new criminalisation is that we should trust the police not to apply the new law in the wrong sort of cases. It seems she has never heard of private prosecutions. It is a pretty odd answer anyway, for a usually police-paranoid Green to want the police to have the power to choose who should be punished.

"Leaving the power to punish with the police is even more bizarre given that the whole purpose of her change is to remove choice from the courts and jury because she thinks they are not zealous enough. I'm sure she will want the Attorney General to demand prosecution if the police prove too sympathetic to normal parents.

"ACT will defend the rights of parents against these self-anointed experts.” Mr Franks said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election