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Archive for May, 2011

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Igniting debate

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Yesterday, I was on TVNZ’s Breakfast show to talk about the Morse decision.

Flag that

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Anyone reading today’s front-page story on the Morse flag-burning decision has every right to be confused. The paper correctly reports that the Supreme Court has found that it’s necessary to prove that offensive behaviour must give rise to a “disturbance of public order” before a conviction can be entered. But the paper reports that a […]

Victory for protesters’ rights

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Valerie Morse has won her appeal in the Supreme Court against her conviction for offensive behaviour for burning a NZ flag in protest at the 2007 Anzac Day dawn ceremony. (I represented her, along with Tony Shaw and Felix Geiringer). Valerie lost in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal. But the decision […]

Journalists I like

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

I’m conscious of the fact that I often bag on journalists and media organisations. So I’ve decided to throw out the occasional bouquet too, in the interests of balance. First up: take a bow Margo White. Her recent Listener story on the Maungatautari Ecological Island reminded me what a terrific journalist she is: thorough, smart, […]

Information sharing recommendations

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

New Zealand’s laws setting out what information government agencies are able to share with each other is a bit chaotic. In the Brown case, the judge noted with alarm that the Department of Corrections had cited the Privacy Act for its refusal to share information about a recently released convicted pedophile with Police in the locality he’d […]

Is the BSA becoming more conservative?

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Broadcasters claim that our new crop of BSA members are more conservative than the last lot. They point to the decisions upholding good taste and decency complaints against Hung, Home and Away and the documentary about Aramoana. Are they right? In short: I don’t really think so. I had a quick squizz through the last […]


Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Meant to write about this last week. How is it that the Sunday Star-Times can believe that a rehashed UK book on criminal justice (Badlands, NZ: A land fit for criminals) is important enough to be front-page news, but that the claims it makes are not important enough to seek out some New Zealand experts […]

Why I bang on about protesters’ rights

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Because I don’t want our country to be a place where this happens. Three street theatre performers, including a professor of anthropology, were preparing to protest against the monarchy with a mock guillotine in Soho Square on Friday. Last Thursday, Police sent three police cars and two police vans to arrest them outside the professor’s […]

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