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PC Language In Law Raises Concerns

PC Language In Law Raises Concerns

National Party Associate Justice spokeswoman Judith Collins is alarmed by suggestions that Government MPs have been leaning on the public servants writing our laws to use more politically correct rhetoric.

"It confirms what the Opposition has been saying for quite some time," says Ms Collins.

She's commenting after a Justice and Electoral Select Committee meeting where the Chief Parliamentary Counsel called on Ministers to resist the temptation to weave politically correct language into the fabric of our laws.

George Tanner QC also expressed concerns at the way some legislation was being put together, to avoid debating time in Parliament.

"Opposition MPs are almost daily seeing politically correct language creep into laws that don't need it.

"The Responsible Gambling Bill's a prime example, where Opposition commonsense finally prevailed and it's now the Gambling Bill," says Ms Collins.

"Another high profile example is the Care of Children Bill, which includes clauses that pave the way for female fathers.

"This has been dismissed as a drafting technique by the Government, but it must now be considered in a new light after Mr Tanner's select committee warnings," Ms Collins says.

"Those warnings cut to the heart of our democracy when one examines his remarks about laws being put together in a way that avoids debate in Parliament.

"That is the best test for new laws. They should be subject to a thorough public debate where all sides are allowed to express views and make sure the legislation stacks up.

"If that's being stifled by Government ministers, our democracy's at real risk," Ms Collins says.

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