Friday, October 13, 2006

Law Commission opposes sedition

I mentioned last month that the Law Commission is reviewing New Zealand's sedition law. There's more news on this in a speech by Geoffrey Palmer to the Law Society - and its good:

A smaller project involving a review of seditious offences in the Crimes Act should be completed by March 2007. It is well advanced now, and a Consultation Paper will be placed on the Law Commission’s website on 17 October. Our task in carrying out this project has been much assisted by the fact that the Australian Law Reform Commission has had a similar project that is now completed. In essence, the consultation paper we are publishing will say that, in a free society, defaming the Government should not be an offence. We do not need the Crimes Act provisions against sedition. The elements of that offence that should remain criminal are covered by other existing provisions in the criminal law.

(Emphasis added)

I'll be looking forward to seeing that consultation document, and looking forward even more to seeing it finalised and its recommendations enacted. Sedition is an archaic law which must be repealed, and the sooner it is disposed of, the better.