Like Freedom of Speech – Right of silence is too sacred to undermine

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The knee-jerk response by National to any problem is the immediate mutilation of civil rights. They’re proposing it for prisoners by simply repealing their right to vote despite not having a Parliamentary super majority to do it. They were suggesting it for beneficiaries who don’t vaccinate their children, they are promising it with gang members and now those suspected of child abuse…

Election 2020: National again promises to punish people who fail to disclose child abuse

A failure to disclose child abuse could be punished by three years in prison if the National Party is elected in October.

National MPs Louise Upston and Alfred Ngaro were in Hamilton on Friday to further detail the party’s child policies, re-announcing the party’s intention to create a new punishment for non-disclosure of child abuse and promising to redefine Labour’s child poverty targets.

…The right to silence is about 500 years old and a corner stone of our legal and civil rights.

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We all feel angry at the manner in which children are harmed and those suspected don’t answer, it’s disgusting.

BUT

You don’t just reverse half a millennia of legal jurisprudence because you’re angry at some individuals who are hiding a crime.

This isn’t political leadership by National, it’s the shrill scream of the lynch mob.

You don’t destroy legal rights as a way to get easier convictions, surely we can all see that right?

Right?

Like Freedom of Speech – Right of silence is too sacred to undermine.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I can disclose that Judith collins and the Nats when last in Govt caused thousands of EXTRA victims of crime ,,,, and her hypocrisy is obscene.

    Despite rooting over and doing a dirty politics hit job on Alcohol reform,,, Collins pretended to be a dumb blonde and was baffled how New Zealands violent crime and child abuse rates remained so ‘stubbornly high’ ,,,

    She is not a dumb blonde but a cynical politician ,,,,who was well aware that her actions in putting the Alcohol drug industry interests ahead of the most vulnerable in our society would lead to unnecessary misery and harm.

    Collins was quite correct in recently stating drug pushers caused misery and harm selling dangerous substances for greed and money ,,,, She and our media left out how she worked for the drug sellers interests when last in Government.

    Sgt Alistair Lawn NZ Police
    “We spend around $85 Million PER WEEK on Alcohol ,,, that’s why they don’t want you to understand its a drug”

    Deputy Commissioner Bush acknowledged the five drivers of crime: guess what got top billing ….Alcohol …

    “Both alcohol abuse and dependence disorders are more common among younger people, males, Mäori and Pacific people, and people who have fewer qualifications, lower household incomes and who live in areas of higher deprivation”….”

    Child Abuse : “Detective Sergeant Kylie Schaare has dealt with some of the most horrific cases the unit has seen in the past 12 months.
    Alcohol was a major factor ……. which was apparent in a lot of physical and sexual abuse cases the unit dealt with, Mrs Schaare said.”.

    ““Meanwhile, history will judge those MPs who wilfully planned and led the wasted opportunity to do something to help the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders being harmed by weak alcohol laws. Their failure is seen in the Bill due to be passed in Parliament today – of particular note: Key, Dunne, Borrows, Joyce, COLLINS and Power”. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/08/11/10-years-of-governments-avoiding-alcohol-law-reform-alcohol-action-nz/

    Collins depraved actions and knowledge of the consequences should certainly be a crime ,,, but all we’d get from her is silence over the Liquor industry lobbying.. the anonymous donations to Nationals “Trusts” ,, their dirty politics hit job on health professionals and responsible reform.

    Our dirty media will never point out just how ‘pro-drug’ National are ,,, in a dirty example of don’t bite the advertising hand that feeds you.

    Finally Nationals law & Order could be summed up by the treatment , or lack of ,,,that the ‘Roast busters’ received compared to Nicky Hager when they were Govt.,,,,

    We certainly know who Judith would like to punish……

    • Great post, thank you for pointing out the alcohol does so much harm in this country and is accepted by many of our politicians as the only acceptable form of inebriation, whereas I want to be able to have a joint at home and sit back and enjoy my Sunday afternoon pottering about in my garden listening to music.

  2. While I tend to agree Martyn I’m sure also that you were bound to disagree because Collins suggested it. What I’m interested in is what your solution is? As long as the present right to silence remains we have to accept that more children are going to get harmed, and possibly killed, to preserve that right. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So what can be done to change that? It’s easy to be against something, especially if promoted by someone we don’t like. It’s far harder to come up with a solution for meaningful change.

    • Tragically, past victims of crime will not see the scales of justice rebalanced in their favour when the most vulnerable will be coerced by police into compounding their disadvantage by self-incrimination.

      The real evil is that emending the evidence act will disadvantage those who do not know how to make decisions rationally and that’s young people, and people with impaired thinking, people in low decile communities, brown people, in particular, are going to find it very difficult to figure out how much they should talk and what they should say.

      When people are arrested they usually don’t know what they’re up against. Brought in late at night or at the beginning of the day the police are very shady about what they are up to and what they cause people of. The police don’t tell them what the evidence is and if you ask the police what’s this all about they don’t want to say.

      There fore under no circumstances shall the accuse have to lay all of there cards on the table before waiting weeks and months before the police produce their evidence if at all.

  3. In the Kahui twins murder investigation the cops and the right-wing media colluded with each other to promote the story that none of the family was co-operating. They decried the family and said they had put up a cone of silence. This is shocking but not surprising behaviour on the part of the cops and right-wing media. As it turned out there was no cone of silence. The cops lied, and lied and lied. At the coroner’s inquest into the death of the twins the coroner said that the cone of silence was a myth. The mother’s lawyer who is a QC also confirmed that and confirmed that the family did co-operate with the cops but sadly, because the public believe in everything the cops say, the truth of the matter in this case never really reached the surface. The cops did not correct the wrong – not surprising because they assiduously avoid correcting their wrongs and now when the sad case of the Kahui twins murder is spoken about all society remembers is the phrase “cone of silence”.

    In the second leaders debate Judith Collins said that there was a cone of silence in the Kahui family and that National would change the law. How wrong she was and given her position she must have known the truth so it is clear that she lied for political gain.

    So, under National the right to silence would be removed in child murder cases. What if a member of the family genuinely did not know what happened and is prosecuted under National’s new law for failing to co-operate? Where does it all end. Oh, that’s right, National would simply label them as a gang and come down hard on them as it promised, get the cops to prosecute them for failing to co-operate and throw them in jail in a double bunking system that Collins has previously advocated.

    National will do anything for political point scoring because it is part of their ethos – identify the fear, highlight it in the electorate and blame someone for it. Add dirty politics to the mix and you end up with a Collins lead National government.

  4. The law can punish those who are accessory to a crime – including those who are “accessory after the fact”, which includes the act of concealing a crime, or shielding the perpetrator from justice. It can also punish those who “pervert the course of justice”, generally involving concealing evidence, making false statements in relation to a crime, or general deception.
    The law does not generally require people to report a crime for a number of good reasons. First, the judicial process is complex. It requires the involvement of a prosecutors, solicitors, barristers and judges who individually know the law very well and who by a collaborative and/or adversarial process collectively come to an appropriate judgement. It is therefore unreasonable to expect the untrained individual citizen to decide if a crime has been committed and to act appropriately to have the perpetrator brought before a court.
    Secondly, people respond in different ways to a perceived criminal act, depending on the circumstances. Some may try to counsel the offender, some may pray for him or her to have a change of heart, some may bring in other whanau members, or kaumatua to press or persuade the offender to change his or her ways. In some cases these methods have the desired effect, and may be more successful in the long term than the official state process involving police, courts, and corrections departments. There is little social good to be had from punishing those who act in good faith to prevent crime through social persuasion.
    Finally, some people do not report crimes out of fear. That is regrettable, but the law sees little value in punishing those whose silence is motivated by fear. Inducing a commensurately greater fear of the state is not an appropriate way to counterbalance fear of the offender.
    So in general the law allows us to report crimes but does not require us to do so. From a practical point of view also this makes sense, because if all crimes were reported, and all reports acted upon, the police and courts would be overwhelmed.
    The case of gross violence inflicted upon an infant is of course in a special category. Anyone can see that it is wrong, and almost certainly criminal. However, the general principle of the law stands, even here. If a person cannot be be held to account for the crime itself, being accessory after the fact, or perverting the course of justice, then they probably should not be charged with anything.
    Ms Collins is entering dangerous territory with her proposal.

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