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No Such Thing As Absolute Freedom

PRESS RELEASE

22 December 1999

Graham Capill
Party Leader

NO SUCH THING AS ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

Party leader Graham Capill has criticised the findings of the Court of Appeal today following its decision in Mooney v Film and Literature Board of Review. “That the Bill of Rights must be taken more seriously in future decisions on classifying material may satisfy the legal niceties of the Act, but it fails to consider the ramifications of such decisions on the whole of society,” Mr Capill said.

“It is unacceptable to expect the Classification Office or the Board of Review to twist the words of the Films, Videos and Publications Act to find a meaning that will allow for the right to ‘Freedom of Expression’ granted under the Bill of Rights. That undermines the very purpose of classifying films and publications in the first instance.

“A much more common sense approach is needed. Everyone instinctively knows that sex between a man and a boy is totally unacceptable in a civilised society. Even the law recognises this by treating such behaviour as a crime. If that is not clear in the legislation, Parliament has a duty to make it so.

“The Court of Appeal appears to suggest that decision makers must do all they can to allow for a person’s freedom of expression. If the words in the Act allow it, that is enough, irrespective of the effect it might have on society. Such an approach to censorship is unacceptable and will result in widespread hard core pornography being admitted to our country.

“Future decisions are likely to undermine standards of decency and may well be injurious to children and young people.

“The Classification Office has been increasingly leaning to a liberal approach to the classification of works before it. This decision is likely to cause an avalanche in the availability of filthy material as preference is given to one’s freedom of expression over the maintenance of proper and necessary standards.

“The Government must step in urgently and make it clear that activities such as the exploitation of children, the use of violence to compel a person into sexual acts, sexual connection with a dead person, the use of urine or excrement and bestiality are all behaviours which are absolutely objectionable and issues of ones freedom of expression should not even arise. In particular, it has a duty to protect children and young people. This decision has opened the floodgates of depravity to such an extent that one may as well abandon censorship. Christian Heritage looks to the Government to close this loophole in the interests of maintaining decent standards,” Mr Capill concluded.

Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766

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