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


Selwyn case shows need for review of sedition law

9 June 2006

Selwyn case shows need for review of sedition laws

A review of New Zealand's sedition laws is urgently needed in the wake of Timothy Selwyn case, the Green Party says.

Auckland man Tim Selwyn was yesterday found guilty in the Auckland District Court of a charge of publishing a statement with seditious intent.

"We seem to be going back to the dark old days when sedition was used to suppress political dissent," Keith Locke, the party's Human Rights Spokesperson says.

"The police are taking us down a very dangerous road in prosecuting a person for making a generalized call for civil disobedience.

"New Zealand has an honourable tradition of civil disobedience against injustice, most notably during the Springbok tour of 1981. Thankfully the sedition laws weren't used at that time, but the police now seemed prepared to prosecute anyone advocating such resistance.

"Next thing we might see farmers facing charges for encouraging others not to get their dogs micro-chipped.

"There is a big difference between inciting the immediate commission a specific criminal act, already covered by Sections 66 and 311 of the Crimes Act, and generalized calls for civil disobedience, which the sedition laws target.

"The sedition offences are so draconian that many news outlets could have been caught under Section 83, for publishing 'any statement that expresses a seditious intention', namely Tim Selwyn's call for 'like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action' to his 'symbolic' protest.

"The sedition law should be urgently reviewed. Some of the sedition offences are clearly contrary to other New Zealand legislation. For example, the under Crimes Act, Section 81, we are not allowed to 'excite disaffection against Her Majesty or the Government of New Zealand", yet the more recent Bill of Rights provision protects our right to protest and 'impart information and opinions in any kind of form.'.

"The Greens will be pushing both for a government review of the sedition clauses, and for the Justice and Electoral Select Committee to take up the matter."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Wikileaks: TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter Released

“If TPP is ratified, people in the Pacific-Rim countries would have to live by the rules in this leaked text,” said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives.” More>>


Redundancies: 120 Laws To Be Repealed

The Statutes Repeal Bill will remove 120 pieces of superfluous legislation, and parts of eight other acts. It is being consulted on before it is introduced to Parliament. “The proposed Bill would reduce the total number of public Acts in force by more than 10%,” Mr Joyce says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news