Tag Archive for "law"
Just having a look at the Summary Offences Act to see if it was illegal to be drunk in public (apparently it’s not) and found these:
Defence for public urination
Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $200 who urinates or defecates in any public place other than a public lavatory. It is a defence in a prosecution under this section if the defendant proves that he had reasonable grounds for believing that he would not be observed.
Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $200 who Publicly advertises a reward for the return of any property that has been stolen or lost, and in the advertisement uses any words to the effect that no questions will be asked;
Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $200 who, without the consent of the owner or occupier affixes any placard, banner, poster, or other material bearing any writing or pictorial representation to any structure, or to or from any tree;
Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $200 who, in any public place, unreasonably disrupts any meeting, congregation, or audience.
Peeping only happens at night
Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $500 who is found by night without reasonable excuse peeping or peering into a dwellinghouse;
I sent in a submission to the Department of Internal Affairs about the Internet filtering scheme. Originally I was intending to run the normal arguments (which I’m sure anyone reading this is already familiar with) but I started to think about the constitutionality of the scheme – and my submission got away on me a bit.
Here’s some of the questions I’m thinking about:
- Where does the DIA derive the authority to create and implement the Internet filtering scheme from? I can’t find any basis for it in the 1993 Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act that they mention in the draft Code of Practice.
- Can Government departments just make new powers up? What avenues are available to stop them?
- Even if there was some basis in the 1993 law, it’s very clear about censorship decisions having to be published, and also defines an accountable appeals process. The DIA seems to have completely ignored this when designing their scheme. Again, how can they do this and how can we stop them?
- When a new law is proposed that has Bill of Rights implications (“Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence or otherwise” seems relevant), the Attorney-General has to submit a report to Parliament on those implications. Is there anything similar when Government departments create new powers for themselves? How does the Bill of Rights work if government departments can just ignore it?
If anyone has any answers to these questions or can point me in the direction of a constitutional lawyer who wouldn’t mind giving some free advice for a good cause, I’d be very grateful.