Wednesday, November 02, 2005



Palmer on Sedition

From Geoffrey Palmer's speech on the introduction of the Crimes Bill (May 2nd, 1989):

The second important change to Part V is that existing provisions relating to sedition are not repeated. The aspect of sedition that deals with inciting violence and lawlessness is more appropriately part of public order law. The matter of racial incitement is dealt with in section 25 of the Race Relations Act. When there is no imminent threat of violence, the question arises whether democracy and free speech are better served if the making of highly coloured statements ceases to be unlawful, and I think that the cause of democracy is so served. There have been no convictions for sedition in New Zealand under the 1961 Act.

From the sections of Hansard I've browsed so far, this seems to have been entirely without controversy; criticism of the bill focused on changes to sentances, to the crime of murder, and to attempts to abolish the death penalty (made redundant by the Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill).

I'll pull the Select Committee report sometime and see whether there is any mention of this absence.

1 comments:

Well done I/S.

Posted by t selwyn : 11/02/2005 02:44:00 PM