Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Human Rights Commission Rejects Criticism


Human Rights Commission Rejects Stephen Franks' Criticism

Stephen Franks' recent criticism of the Human Rights Commission is based on a misrepresentation says Chris Lawrence, the Proceedings Commissioner at the Commission. Mr Franks had issued a press release about the Court of Appeal's recent decision in a censorship case involving two anti-gay videos. He said that "our Human Rights Commissars had lawyers in court urging the censor's case" and that the court's decision was " a resounding embarrassment for the Commission".

Lawrence says it is simply untrue to say that the Commission had urged the censor's case or that the outcome of the case was an embarrassment to the Commission. He says that the Commission applied to be a party to the case because it wanted to make submissions on what it saw as the relevant principles and questions of statutory interpretation. That role, Lawrence says, was similar to the role played in the case by the Attorney- General. He says that the Commission did not take sides in relation to the two videos themselves and that this was made clear in its submissions to the court. In those submissions the Commission had said

"The Commission's primary concern as regards the outcome of the present appeal is therefore in relation to the matters of principle at issue rather than the particular publications at issue -- the two videos -- or indeed a defence of the particular censorship decisions"

That makes it clear that Mr Franks is wrong to say that the Commission "urged the censor's case". Its role in these proceedings was not a partisan one. It had expressed a concern that the censorship laws be effective generally in dealing with publications which incite discrimination but did not take sides in the particular case or argue that the particular censorship decisions at issue were legally correct.

Mr Franks is of course free to criticise the Commission but he should avoid misrepresentation.


For further information please contact Glyn Walters, Communications Officer on 025 313 239.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction. However, our current worldview and political paradigm renders us incapable of responding adequately due to its disconnected and divisive default settings.

These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

The Dig: Scoop’s Engaged Journalism Platform Launches
The Scoop Ecosystem has grown bigger with the launch of The Dig - a new public interest, in-depth, Engaged Journalism platform. More>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


"Shocking And Dangerous": Accused Mosque Shooter's Prison Letter Posted Online

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks has sent seven letters from prison and had two others withheld, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Corrections has now blocked the accused gunman from sending or receiving mail... More>>


Standing On List Only: Paula Bennett To Run National’s Election Campaign

The National Party is pleased to announce the appointment of Paula Bennett as our Campaign Chair for the 2020 General Election, President Peter Goodfellow says. More>>

Waiver For State Care Inquiry: Historic Abuse Survivors 'Can Speak Freely'

Abuse in state care survivors can take part in the forthcoming Royal Commission proceedings without being bound by any confidentiality obligations to Crown agencies under their historic claim settlements, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said. More>>


Trail Trial: Sexual Violence Court Reduces Lead-Up Times And Trauma

An evaluation of New Zealand’s first sexual violence court has confirmed that the approach taken in the judge-led pilot considerably reduces the time that cases take to reach trial. More>>




InfoPages News Channels