The court has decided the offence didn't merit a conviction -- and we don't let the Crown challenge that in general. So why should this one form of decision be challengeable?
To me, this seems more like a sentencing exercise than a conviction exercise. We let the Crown appeal "this offence doesn't warrant imprisonment", and I can't see that this assessment is fundamentally different from that.
I do have concerns, but thinking about it, I think they're mostly rooted in a concern about whether the Crown should be able to appeal at all.
Have now remembered I should have turned comments on. I hope the withdrawal wasn’t too bad :-)
Serious question though - when have the police ever actually progressed an Electoral Commission referral to the stage of pressing charges?
They do it sometimes in relation to people who "double vote". But in regards other matters … never, to my knowledge.
A couple of elections ago, before this all became a big thing, with lots of complaints, I understand TVNZ was prosecuted and convicted for airing an advertisement during the closing statements.
What about the cover of the rugby magazine with John Key pretending to be an All Black? It is in every book and magazine shop and dairy across NZ. Surely that is an election advertisement.
If you see a poster advertising the cover, feel free to complain about that to the Electoral Commission :-)
Broadcasting Act charges have a six month time limit, so Jono and Ben are now in the clear.
Bottom lines, and actual priorities. Which of their policies are they going to insist are implemented, and which are they going to say are their policies, but might simply declare, "oh well, we didn't have the numbers"? What would it take for them to walk out? What policies of Labour's will they refuse to support under any circumstance (or most circumstances)?
Accessing a computer without authorisation is a crime under section 252 of the Crimes Act 1961. It says:
I've been going back and forth on this since the release. My current position (of many shifting ones) is that it's subsection (2) that is important in determining whether the offence was committed, but it is difficult to see how far that would go.
Subsection 2 says:
To avoid doubt, subsection (1) does not apply if a person who is authorised to access a computer system accesses that computer system for a purpose other than the one for which that person was given access.
The question then is: does Cameron Slater have authority to access the server that hosts the Labour Party website? Well, it's a publicly available website, that they put up there so that people can go to their website and download stuff from that server into their cache to read on their browsers. If Cameron doesn't have authority (because, for example, it's not express authority), I don't see how any of us can lawfully look at it.
If Cameron, and you and I have authorisation to access the server that hosts labour.org.nz for the purpose of viewing the Labour Party's website, then is there any basis on which section 252(2) doesn't come into play if once we access the server, we do things that it was not intended we should do?
Obviously, if once there, those unauthorised things we are doing on that computer system (which we are authorised to access for other purposes), we do things for other reasons, eg to cause damage to the site, or to do something dishonest etc. other computer crimes may arise (such as section 249, or section 250). These offences can be committed on computer systems you have been authorised to access, because they don't include something equivalent to section 252(2), but there has been no suggestion to date that Cameron Slater or Jason Ede (or anyone else) accessed the Labour server in a way which might give rise to an offence under s 249 or s 250.
There may still be privacy issues, but I'm tending to the view that what has been alleged is not a breach of section 252, because of subsection 2. I think we all have authorisation to access the computer system which operates as the server hosting the Labour Party website.
With hindsight, it's clear that if Labour couldn't find a better candidate than Gibson, it should not have stood a candidate.
I don't think that that is a serious suggestion. That is really not an option.
had the Star Times ... secured an interview with Billingsley, the paper would have been all over it. It would have been yesterday’s lead story.
But it actually gets worse ... Fairfax reporter Kim Knight eventually did get an interview. It’s there in the Sunday Star Times, where she explains her decision to go public.
I'm not sure how that is worse. It shows 1. that they didn't front-page the interview, and 2. that their news team thought the story was on the speaking out, which was also the focus of the editorial.
That would be covered by the "self confessed" surely?
You can confess to something that is reported as a paraphrase.