Libertarians slam new law forcing witnesses to speak up

NZ HERALD 4:00AM Saturday Jul 04, 2009

A new bill that would force people to reveal relevant evidence will leave citizens without protection and give the state total power, say civil libertarians.

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties has labelled the Search and Surveillance Bill – recommended by the Law Commission and tabled in Parliament on Thursday – a “chilling piece of legislation” that takes away a person’s right to silence unless convicted of an offence.
Main changes recommended in the bill include:

  • Introduction of “examination order” power, where people believed to have material information about offending can be forced to answer questions.
  • Police able to detain people while scenes secured and searched.
  • People in charge of computers/networks obliged to help in searches.
  • Police able to stop and search vehicles without a warrant.