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Anti-Protest Laws Rejected

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Monday, 23 June 2014

Tags: Anti-Protest Laws, Freedom of Speech

The Hodgman Liberal government is quickly developing a reputation for being draconian, divisive and anti-democratic, with serious concerns growing over its punitive law agenda.

 “The Minister’s proposed Bill targeting protestors, is offensive to our judiciary, is offensive to people’s democratic right to free speech, and offends common sense,” Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said.

“Currently the law already provides for trespass and public nuisance offences, and people have been tried and penalised under them.”

“These existing laws are as any democratic society should have in that they apply to all in the community equally, instead of targeting, and scapegoating one sector.”

“It is disturbing but not unexpected to see this ideologically driven Liberal government continue to target and marginalise those in our community who dare voice dissent.”

“It is also disturbing that this bad and draconian Bill was drafted and will be rushed into our Parliament without key stakeholders, such as the Law Society, being consulted.”

“The President of the Law Society has stated publicly that the flagged provisions of this Bill are causing ‘a great deal of anxiety’.  The Premier, the Attorney-General and the Minister have must take these concerns seriously.”

“This Liberal government is either ignorant of the separation of powers principle of Westminster systems, or it is so arrogant it does not care about over-reaching and breaching these fundaments principles which underpin our democracy.”

“Once again we are seeing the Liberals remove discretion from the courts, and reduce them to being a mere rubber stamp.”

“The Greens reject the proposed draconian measures which will pervert the fundamental principles on which our justice system is built, including treating our judiciary as a rubber stamp, citizens being penalised for choosing to be tried before their peers, and entrenching mandatory sentencing.”

“To avoid embarrassing Tasmania further, Mr Harriss needs to stop, talk with stakeholders such as the Law Society, and rethink whether he really wants to drag Tasmania down this draconian road,” Mr Booth said.