Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Submitting on the spying bill

The Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill is finally online. There's been a small change since the draft version, or removing the word "unreasonable", but that's it. The bill still retrospectively legalises unlawful police spying, saying that it was lawful and is not to be treated as improperly obtained. And it lets the police keep doing exactly what they're doing for the next year, without any requirement to change their behaviour.

Interestingly, Chris Finlayson did not issue a section 7 report on the bill. So he thinks that retrospectively legalising improperly obtained evidence and allowing it to be used in criminal trials is perfectly consistent with the Bill of Rights Act. So much for his credibility as Attorney-General.

The bill is still going through its first reading, but Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell says it will be open for public submissions, and he's encouraging everyone to submit on it. Hopefully, the bill will show up on the list here in the near future. Alternatively, Flavell has offered to assist people to make a submission, so if it doesn't, then you can email him at teururoa.flavell@parliament.govt.nz.