Home Human Rights Free Speech

Free Speech

Keith Locke’s submission to the NZ Parliament on the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill

Summary I am strongly opposed to this Bill, and I urge the Select Committee to reject it. The Bill violates the right of Members of Parliament to free speech and the freedom of political association. These are fundamental human rights guaranteed in the New Zealand Bill of Rights. The Bill violates...

Keith Locke: Party-hopping bill is a restraint on MPs’ freedom of speech

The bill before Parliament to stop party-hopping has been misnamed. The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill should be called the Party Conformity Bill because it threatens MPs with ejection from Parliament if they don't conform to party dictates. Personal political integrity will be constrained, except on a few selected "conscience" issues,...

Keith Locke: Let’s honour centenary of those we jailed for opposing wartime conscription

(An opinion piece published in the New Zealand Herald, 13 December 2016.) Most of us know there were conscientious objectors who refused to fight in World War I. Many were sent to jail for their stand. Less well-known are the 107 New Zealanders who were convicted for "sedition", simply for...

Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill challenges citizen rights to a passport and privacy

On 27 November I gave this "oral submission" to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill, which was being rushed through Parliament with unseemly haste. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and...

Keith Locke: There’s nothing great about Great War

WWI was a disastrous struggle for imperial power rather than a fight for freedom — and we must share blame Read this article on the NZ Herald website Over the next four years we will learn much about World War I and the suffering that went with it. The war was a...

Keith Locke: Key jumping the gun over passports

Read this article on the NZ Herald website The Government may well have acted beyond the law in cancelling the passports of New Zealanders intending to join rebel groups fighting the Assad regime. Under Section 18 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, "Everyone has the right to leave New...

Amnesty International Human Rights Defender Award 2012

On Saturday 12 May I was most humbled to receive from Amnesty International the 2012 Human Rights Defender Award. There were many other strong nominees (see below). I thank the many people who have sent messages of congratulations since I was given the award. Amnesty International Honours Unique New Zealander Sunday, 13...