Friday, January 15, 2010

R v Minto & Ors

After I requested Rocky to post the police summary of facts of her arrest, she obliged.

The comments in that post are interesting, especially from those who insist the right to protest is absolute, and then refer to the Supreme Court case of R v Brooker as authority.

Brooker is a long(ish) judgment so I’m not going to produce a bout of written diarrhea here and reproduce it verbatim. But it is worth reminding readers of the following passage from it:

There must, however, come a point at which the manner or some other facet of the exercise of the freedom will create such a level of anxiety or disturbance that the behaviour involved becomes disorderly under s 4(1)(a) and, correspondingly, the limit thereby imposed on the freedom becomes justified under s 5. No abstract guidance can be given as to when that level will be reached. That decision is a matter of judgment according to all the relevant circumstances of the individual case.

This approach was endorsed by the majority in Hansen v R [2007] NZSC 7.

If the police do have members of the public who will give evidence they were annoyed and/or disturbed as a result of the protest, which is what the summary of facts suggests, then it isn’t game, set and match as Minto et al would like to believe.

I know what the response to this post will be. We weren't breaking the law. We were within the bounds of Brooker.

I am in favour of the law being tested so let the courts decide. If we don't follow due process we have anarchy which I am sure is what Minto et al dream of.

17 comments:

alex Masterley said...

I have no problem with the right to protest.
But the protest must be within the boundaries of the law.
Brooker provides only a guideline as what and what is not disorderly conduct is as the court recognises that setting prescriptive guidelines would be unworkable. at the end of the day it is the constable doing his or her job that has to make the judgment. Most of the time they will get it right. sometimes they won't.

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

How delicious Gooner!!
Is Rochelle Rees the same Rochelle Rees who created the 'Google Bomb' concerning the 'clueless' John Key, which as No Minister previously reported, blew up in Liarbour's two faces!!

http://nominister.blogspot.com/search?q=rochelle+rees

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

Mr Darroch seems to have 'form' as well.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10616755&pnum=1

http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/resources.php?page=52

http://ausm.org.nz/issue-8/debate/news/anti-fur-campaigners-standing-up-for-the-little-guys.html

And is he into community gardens too?
http://www.ndu.org.nz/files/NDU%20Express%20Sep-Dec%202008.pdf

alex Masterley said...

Ms Rees is also;
a campaigner against animal exploitation,
and a member having recently been appointed of the Eden Albert community board.
Busy girl.
and FM yes.

Ben said...

Is there something wrong with being against animal exploitation?

Is it a sign of moral decay to support community gardens?

You dribbling idiots are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Psycho Milt said...

Well, it'll be interesting to see if the Police continue to interpret "disturbing the peace" as "Officer, those protesters are annoying me" next time Bob McCroskie's out there protesting S59. Seems like an open invitation for the anti-smackers to have him arrested.

Anonymous said...

Bwahahaha - Ben and PM have already handed you your backside on a platter Gooner, so I'll just note that your quote is grossly misleading and out of context.

It is not whether some of the tennis spectators or athletes were 'annoyed' or 'disturbed', the threshold for disorderly is whether a 'reasonable NZer' would be 'anxious or disturbed'.

Note too that 'anxiety or disturbed' is a far higher level of concern than the 'I was distracted by the noise' meaning of 'disturbed'.

So you would have to find people in the area round the tennis centre who were not involved with the tennis, who testify that they were 'anxious'. Don't think so, huh? In a commercial area, no residences, next to a park.

And if it is disorderly to boo or chant when a player is about to serve or play, I guess NZ cops will arrest half the stadium when the boo and try distract the All Blacks goalkicker at the next RWC, eh? That'll win us the title (of sportsman of the year)

Boy, you right wingers are really scraping for any justification, eh? If only you put as much effort into making NZ a better place, not just a greedier place.

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

There is nothing against community gardens or opposing animal cruelty.
But we do seem to have a case of two young activists becoming the usual rentamob rabble.

Psycho Milt said...

For the record, my view is that I have "expressed disagreement," not "handed Gooner his backside on a platter."

Gooner said...

@ anon, it must be awful being a know all. How do you do it?

Ben said...

But we do seem to have a case of two young activists becoming the usual rentamob rabble.

No you don't. You brought in totally unrelated issues to try and smear 'Rocky' and others who agree with her - that is called collective judgement, and is usually reserved for Muslims on this site.

Sinner said...

I have no problem with the right to protest.

I have no problem with the right protest.

Lefties have no rights to anything, let alone protest!

This "protest" is just another good reason for immediately arming all police with at least submachine guns.

Is there something wrong with being against animal exploitation?

of course there is. It's called fucking vegetarianism - one step away from socialism!

Is it a sign of moral decay to support community gardens?

Of course it is, it's fucking lefty socialism!

pdm said...

Hi Gooner - is that anon Property Zealot from a week or so back?

Or is he hater and wrecker roger nome in disguise?

Nice to see you supporting your Blogger mates against idiots like anon PM.

Anonymous said...

@ pdm - neither a Property Zealot nor a Roger Nome. Weren't rogergnomes Act party zealots? Definitely not me then.

@ Gooner - I never claimed to know all, I leave that to the self-correcting, always correct free market.

Funny how none of you right wingers have addressed any of my points though, eh? Why not tell us what you think?

Do you want anyone who boos Dan Carter (a totally natural response IMHO) to get hauled off by the Stazi for prosecution for disorderly?

@ Fairfacts - are you offering to pay rent to demonstrators? If so, I reckon you will get a mob! :) Having an opinion on more than one topic does not make you a 'know all' or rent-a-mob-ster. It makes you an interesting person, involved in the community.

Gooner said...

Anon, why should I address your points when your type constantly fail to address my point: rights are not absolute and the police decide when the criminal law is broken. Not you. Not Rocky. And not Minto.

WAKE UP said...

Anonymous 3.56: tennis spectators do not boo or chant when a player is about to serve or play. That's why it's such a classy sport (and also why John Minto obviously knows fuck-all about it).

Anonymous said...

But Gooner - I have addressed your point repeatedly. Let's be clear - I am saying that:
- politicians make/change laws
- judiciary interpret/uphold laws
- police enforce laws

That's clear, right? I ackowledge that police decide on the spot if a law has been broken or not, and whether it is 'in the public interest' to arrest and/or prosecute over it. Glad e've got that sorted.

Buuuuuuuut - what you seem reluctant to admit is there are constraints on police, and they broke them at the tennis demos.

Police must determine if a breach of the law has occured in light of legal decisions already made. Police at the tennis were repeatedly told about Brooker & Rees decisions, but still arrested people for use of megaphones - which the courts have said use of is legally acceptable.

So, prima facie case of police making illegal arrests. Based on the rulings of NZ judges - not me, Minto or Rees.