Monday, August 13, 2012

An admission

Back in 2002, in the wake of 9/11, Parliament passed the Terrorism Suppression Act. The Act brought us into line with international law on terrorist financing and bombing, but it also went further than that, and at the time there was widespread concern that it would impact on democratic rights. These concerns were strengthened by amendments in 2007 which criminalised ex post facto unknowing interactions with entities the government (or the US government) later decided that it didn't like.

And then of course there was the Urewera mess, where the police abused the law to get surveillance powers which they then overstepped...

The upshot is that in the cold light of day, the law looks a little extreme. And to her credit, Labour's Annette King (who was Minister of Police and Justice at the time the later amendments passed) has admitted it:

Suppression of terrorism Act was passed in the crazy days after 9/11.Its time to review and change.
Hopefully this means that a future Labour government will review the Act and restore civil liberties.