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

 

Free Speech Coalition will defend free speech rights

Free Speech Coalition will defend current and long held free speech rights


31 March 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Free Speech Coalition will campaign against new laws to supress traditional freedom of speech signalled by Justice Minister Andrew Little.

Constitutional lawyer, and Free Speech Coalition spokesperson, Stephen Franks says, “New Zealand already has clear laws against incitement of violence. We have a very new, uncertain, and far reaching law against digital harassment."

"We have seen little or no effort by the government to enforce the existing law in the internet era, or even to explain it. Few New Zealanders know how our existing law works to criminalise genuinely hateful attempts to incite violence and contempt. We have seen instead repeated efforts to justify the granting of fresh powers like those used overseas to allow authorities to criminalise arguments and the expression of concern about issues where they want only one view to be expressed or heard."

"The Government and the Human Rights Commission should focus on explaining and enforcing the existing law, not disgracefully seizing on the wave of sympathy from all decent New Zealanders, to rush through new restrictions on the opinions we may debate, express and research."

"The term ‘hate speech’ is deliberately extreme. It has been designed to prejudice discussion. It exploits the decency of ordinary people. How could anyone not oppose 'hate'? But as defined legally it generally means something that could upset someone. Overseas examples often just gives authorities the ability to say it means what they want it to mean from time to time. Recently, in Britain, their version of the law was used to bring criminal charges against an elderly woman who refused to use a transgender man’s preferred designation as a woman and insisted on referring to him as a man who wanted to use women’s toilets.”



“New restrictions raise obvious questions around who gets to decide which ideas are suppressed, how many peaceful New Zealanders could see themselves targeted, and how these laws could be used in future to shut down speech for political reasons.”

“The worst aspect of this law is the ‘chilling effect’ – even speech that would pass the legal test may still go unsaid due to fear of committing this new kind of blasphemy. This has fundamental risks across society, from academic debate to internet memes.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning...

“Watching those doors open and seeing the light enter that dark tunnel for the first time in years was incredibly emotional. We’ve known we are going back in for a year now, today it feels like it.

“This is the start of a journey that will end with truth and justice.” More>>

 

Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>

ALSO:

Report Released: Harmful Behaviour In Parliamentary Workplace

Rt Hon Trevor Mallard today released a report containing the findings and recommendations of the independent external review into harmful behaviour within the parliamentary workplace. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>

ALSO:

camouflageGordon Campbell: Why We Shouldn’t Genuflect To Security

Reportedly most (and possibly all) of the Royal Commission investigation into the Christchurch mosque shootings will be closed to the general public and to the media… More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Pike, Bullying, Carbon...

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her post-cabinet press conference by announcing that the zero carbon bill would have its first reading the Parliament this week. More>>

Budget Announcements: Family And Sexual Violence Response

The family and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple government departments. More>>

ALSO:

Deals, Sanctions, Consultation: National's Foreign Policy Plan

“National will prioritise our relationship with the United States.. National will also further the strong and dynamic economic relationship with China." More>>

ALSO:

Taking Children Into State Care: Minister For Children On The Nation

Simon Shepherd: ... So, we’ve seen this jump in the number of newborn Maori babies being taken from their parents in the last three years. Is that because it’s a directive from Oranga Tamariki to get involved earlier? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels