Daily Archives: 28/09/2011

Legislation in Retrospect

I'm Watching You

I'm Watching You

Legislation should never be applied in retrospect. 

The New Zealand government is trying to pass this into law at the moment.

Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill

The part of the bill that needs to be opposed or removed relates to the retrospective application.

To retrospectively legalise the illegal activities of officials is a vote in favour of corruption.

We do need to address the use of covert surveillance, but to retrospectively apply the bill could lead to allegations of corruption of the government who are trying to bring a pre-designed outcome to a case that the government is trying to pursue through the courts.

DBHOH_BILL_11056_VideoCameraSurveillanceTemporaryM (pdf)

Part 2
Temporary continuation, and savings

Declaration of continued lawfulness 15

5 Temporary continuation of lawfulness of certain uses of video camera surveillance

  1. (1)  This section applies to the use of covert video camera surveillance as part of, or in connection with, a search, if that use—
    1. (a)  occurred prior to the coming into force of this Act; or 
    2. (b)  occurs before the close of the day that is 1 year after thedate on which this Act comes into force. 

I see this as the thin end of the wedge and sets a precedent for the government to repeat this process for other situations as well.

Any implementation of the bill should only apply to future action.

Legislation should never be applied in retrospect.

Paul S Allen


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