Posts by Grassed Up

  • Legal Beagle: Terrorism is already illegal,

    A New Zealander who fights for ISIS commits a serious crime against New Zealand law. They can already be arrested, they can be charged, and depending on exactly what they did while a member of ISIS, can potentially be imprisoned for life.

    I'm not sure this is right (or, rather, I'm not 100% certain the law is as clear as you suggest with respect to those who "just" fight for ISIS). The offence provision (s.13(1)) reads:

    A person commits an offence who participates in a group or organisation for the purpose stated in subsection (2)...

    Subsection (2) then reads:

    The purpose referred to in subsection (1) is to enhance the ability of any entity ... to carry out, or to participate in the carrying out of, 1 or more terrorist acts.

    So, not only must you "participate" actively in ISIS (as opposed to just being a member), but you have to do so in order to "enhance the ability" of ISIS to carry out "terrorist acts". Let's then imagine some young New Zealander who goes over to Iraq/Syria, goes through an ISIS training camp, lugs an AK47 around the countryside, guards an ammunition dump, shoots at a bunch of Kurdish forces (not civilians) and then gets sick of it all and heads back to NZ.

    Did those actions "enhance the ability" of ISIS to do all the nasty things that have seen them proscribed as a terrorist group? Is it enough to generally help ISIS with all its aims and objectives (including fighting against its other armed enemies), or must you have the specific purpose of helping it to carry out its specifically terrorist objectives? And insofar as there's ambiguity about what sort of "purpose" an individual must have in order to commit the offence, why isn't that interpreted in favour of the defendant?

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Oops: how some prisoners…,


    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: The law may be that stupid, in reply to 3410,

    "Should that be "because the candidate does n't know.", or am I reading it wrongly?"

    Yes - it should be ("doesn't", that is).

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Criminalising Journalism,

    " Even if there is nothing of note in any material it holds – and, frankly, it’s not clear it even holds anything it hasn’t broadcast – to willingly hand it over is tantamount to giving up a source. "

    Ummm ... no it isn't. The police don't want copies of the tapes, they want any information about how the tapes were made that may have come from Bradley Ambrose.

    The interview with him was carried live-to-air, and even if RNZ didn't name him, his identity was already on the internet (and was revealed on mainstream news outlets shortly thereafter). So where's the "protecting your sources" angle to this?

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: He is Henry the Eighth, he…,

    Is s.6(3) really a privative clause that purports to exclude the courts from examining the lawfulness of an Order in Council? It tells courts that they can't look at the Minister's advice to issue one - but this advice isn't the same as the Order itself.

    I read s.6(3) as excluding review of the Minister's decision making process (i.e. no review on natural justice/relevancy of considerations criteria). But review of the vires of the final Order - is it within the purposes of the Act - is not excluded (even if the courts paid attention to such a measure ... which they won't).

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Absent Members,

    "Lockwood Smith doesn't need to make a late submission to the Law Commission, and wait for the resulting legislation to traipse through Parliament; he can write a letter to the Standing Orders Committee asking them to consider whether wagging from the House should be a contempt of Parliament."

    So an errant MP is found to be in contempt of the House ... and then what?
    (1) The are censured by the House?
    (2) They have to apologise to the House?
    (3) They have to pay a fine to the House (if the House actually has the power to fine, which it probably doesn't)?
    (4) The House imprisons them for the remainder of the session (i.e. to the next election)?

    Because that is it in terms of punishments that the House can, in law, impose.

    Now cue debate as to whether s.55 of the Electoral Act 1993 has overridden Parliament's historical privilege to expel its members ...

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • MMP: This Time It's Binding,

    George Darroch:
    "Mr Lange, as was his wont, promised a referendum for 1987, but his party really really did not like the idea. Bolger, for reasons unknown to me, promised one in 1990, and having broken a list of promises longer than his arm, decided to keep this one."

    Actually, Lange misread his debate notes during a televised debate in the 1987 campaign and promised a referendum when he was actually meant to say NO to one! (This is more than an urban legend ... see the account in Jackson K., and A. McRobie, "New Zealand adopts proportional representation: accident? design? evolution?" (Ashgate, 1998)). The story is then taken up by

    "Although National's leadership also disliked the idea of MMP, they saw an opportunity to embarrass the government over its failure to respond to the commission's proposals. As each party tried to outmanoeuvre the other, both entered the 1990 election campaign promising to hold referenda on electoral reforms that they did not really want.
    The Labour government was heavily defeated in the 1990 election, but its National successor was soon under fire for breaking election promises. Confidence and trust in politicians and Parliament plunged to new depths. Polls showed that politicians ranked alongside used-car salespeople as the least-respected occupational group in the country. Public support for electoral reform continued to grow."

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • MMP: This Time It's Binding,

    RB: "Sure. But the referendum can't do that. It'd be baby, bathwater, etc. That was the point of the question above."

    Might interest you to look at paragraph 88 of the Cabinet Paper from Justice outlining the options for a referendum ... "It may be useful during this public discussion [prior to the referendum] for the Government to indicate whether it would be willing to undertake a review of MMP to clarify and address these issues [with the existing system], if the public votes to retain MMP. This would assist voters to make an informed choice. It would also reduce the likelihood of change from MMP to an alternative voting system if most voters generally agree with MMP, subject to some amendments."

    Given that last sentence, watch what the Government does/does not do very closely!

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: A news site where you can…,

    On the issue of the use of urgency, Prof Jeremy Waldron had some interesting (and prescient) things to say about this in a lecture published by the Maxim Institute:

    "We have to get away from a situation where those who support a bill
    support rushing it through the legislature, and only those who oppose
    the measure express any concern about the process. I have no doubt
    that if a National government, or a National-dominated coalition, is
    formed after the elections this spring, it will dominate the Parliament and make use of urgency and other parliamentary abuses, to get its measures through, just as much as its predecessor. That is what has got to stop."

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

  • Hard News: Rethinking the EFA,


    Canada has just introduced fixed election dates.

    Which Harper then went and undermined by manufacturing a "crisis" that "required" an early election.

    Since Nov 2008 • 12 posts Report

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