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



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news