Green Party ensures vital human rights and process safeguards will be inserted in new anti-terrorism law

The Green Party has negotiated important civil liberties changes in the proposed Terrorism Suppression Bill which will now establish human rights and process safeguards.

“We’ve ensured that foreign convictions and deportations won’t be accepted without proper scrutiny and we’ve ended the use of secret evidence without an advocate,” said Golriz Ghahraman, Green Party spokesperson for Justice.

“We’ve been clear from the start about our key concerns. Our position in Government has allowed us to negotiate and get agreement from the Minister. We’re now comfortable voting for the Bill at first reading while we continue work to improve it as it progresses.

“The Green Party has a long history of standing up for civil liberties when so-called antiterrorism laws breach fundamental human rights. We are happy to support this law to first reading because of the changes that satisfy our human rights kaupapa.

“Today we eliminated the risk that this new law will recognise dodgy convictions from overseas jurisdictions that do not adhere to our high standards of fair trial and our definition of what constitutes terrorism.

“We have also made sure that international best practice on the use of classified information is guaranteed in this legislation. Because of the change inserted by the Green Party, this Bill will never allow for secret evidence to be used in a case without the accused having a form of representation, as happened in the Zaoui case.

“The use of classified information will only occur with the protection of a judge, and the lawyer appointed to assist the accused person will have access to the information, thus ending the use of secret evidence without an advocate.

“The Law Commission recommends these sorts of safeguards in order to ensure fairness where terror allegations are made. And the Green Party agrees and believes the Law Commission are the experts in this area.

“We’re also pleased to say that the National Party have been prevented from blackmailing the Government into draconian law changes that go far beyond what is necessary just so they can appear to be tough on law and order, despite all evidence suggesting that’s the wrong path to take.

“Today we are helping to move New Zealand away from a pattern of gung-ho lawmaking that has undermined civil liberties through knee-jerk reactions to the threat of terrorism.”

ENDS

Download a PDF of our SOP here: Supplementary Order Paper (Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill) - Golriz Ghahraman

Full text of SOP follows

Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill

Proposed amendments

Hon Andrew Little, in Committee, to move the following amendments:

New clause 6A

After clause 6 (page 5, line 13), insert:

6A Duty to have regard to specified aspects of evidence relied on

(1) In determining whether evidence establishes or helps to establish compliance with section 6, the court must have regard to—
(a) the source of that evidence; and
(b) the validity, authenticity, and reliability of that evidence.

(2) The subsection (1) duty also applies in respect of a determination of the validity, authenticity, and reliability of any conviction or other foreign country action at issue in terms of section 6(1)(c), (d), or (e).

(3) This section does not limit or affect any other rules of law relating to the admission or use of evidence.

Clause 11(2)(a)
In clause 11(2)(a), before “risk” (page 6, line 24), insert “real”.

Clause 14
In clause 14(1)(b), before “risks” (page 8, line 10), insert “real”.
In clause 14(2)(b)(ii), before “risks” (page 8, line 20), insert “real”.

Clause 16
In clause 16(c), before “risk” in each place (page 9, lines 33 and 34), insert “real”.

Clause 19(1)(a)
In clause 19(1)(a), before “risks” (page 11, line 19), insert “real”.

New clause 35
After clause 34 (after page 17, line 29), insert:

35 Additional requirements for decisions that supporting information is not disclosable

(1) This section applies when the court is considering making under other relevant law any order, direction, or other decision to the
effect that any information supporting any application made under this Act is not disclosable to, or to any person acting for,—
(a) a person who is or may be a relevant person; or
(b) any other non-Crown party.

(2) The court, when considering making a decision of that kind, must—
(a) have regard to whether the interests or factors supporting a decision of that kind are or include a real risk to any identifiable
person or people; and
(b) request the Solicitor-General to appoint a Special Advocate as a counsel assisting the court under rule 10.22 of the
High Court Rules 2016; and
(c) empower the person appointed under paragraph (b) to act in the interests of the person who is or may be a relevant person,
and to present arguments on the relevance and reliability of the supporting information; and
(d) allow the person appointed under paragraph (b) to receive instructions from any person acting for the person who is or
may be a relevant person.

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper sets out amendments to the Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill.

New clause 6A(1) requires the court, in determining whether evidence establishes or helps to establish compliance with clause 6, to have regard to—

  • the source of that evidence; and
  • the validity, authenticity, and reliability of that evidence.

New clause 6A(2) ensures that the new clause 6A(1) duty also applies in respect of a determination of the validity, authenticity, and reliability of any conviction or other foreign country action at issue in terms of clause 6(1)(c), (d), or (e).

New clause 6A(3) ensures that new clause 6A does not limit or affect any other rules of law relating to the admission or use of evidence.

Clause 11(2)(a) is amended to make it clear that the court may make a control order only if satisfied that the relevant person poses a real risk of engaging in terrorism related activities in a country (emphasis added). Similar amendments are made to references
to any specified risk or risks in clauses 14, 16, and 19.

New clause 35 imposes additional requirements for decisions that supporting information is not disclosable. New clause 35 applies when the court is considering making under other relevant law a decision to the effect that any information supporting any application made under the Bill is not disclosable to, or to any person acting for, a person who is or may be a relevant person, or any other non-Crown party.New clause 35 requires the court, when considering making a decision of that kind, to—

  • have regard to whether the interests or factors supporting a decision of that kind are or include a real risk to any identifiable person or people; and
  • request the Solicitor General to appoint a Special Advocate as a counsel assistingthe court under rule 10.22 of the High Court Rules 2016; and
  • empower the person appointed to act in the interests of the person who is or may be a relevant person, and to present arguments on the relevance and reliability of the supporting information; and
  • allow the person appointed to receive instructions from any person acting for the person who is or may be a relevant person.

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