Protestors could be charged as terrorists under law change, Law Society warns

Human Rights Foundation

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Legitimate protestors could be charged as terrorists under new legislation unless changes are made, the NZ Law Society says.

New Zealand’s history of protest at sea, including against the visit of US nuclear vessels during the 1970s and 1980s, was cited during submissions on the law change today.

Parliament is considering legislation that will bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security.

It will create new offences related to maritime terrorism and maritime boarding.

But there are concerns that the law change could be used to stifle protest at sea because the definition of what is terrorism is too broad.

Jonathan Orpin of the NZ Law Society appeared before Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee today and argued for the terrorism definition to be tightened.

The current definition is to carry out or to threaten acts with the purpose of intimidating a population or…

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