Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keeping Quiet Now Costs

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil
is that good men do nothing".
A long-overdue change to some laws this week: the Crimes Amendment Bill (No.2) makes it punishable to keep ya mouth shut. Extended family and close friends of child abusers face up to 10yrs' jail, if they turn a blind eye and don't report abuse.
Changes have been introduced aimed at protecting children from abuse and neglect, including a new offence making people who are close to a family liable if they do not report abuse. This will stop people from dodging responsibility for abuse under their noses. No longer can people say they weren't involved: standing by and doing nothing makes you involved, and this bill makes it clear.
The changes were spurred by the 2006 deaths of the 3mth.old Kahui twins from severe head injuries. Gossips fingered the parents of the twins, yet the family closed ranks to handle it "the maori way". The amendment will mean cases like this must be dealt with in the legal way, or those shielding the abuser will also face consequences. After all, there can be only one set of laws for the entire population.
A loophole will also be closed of the "claim of right" defence, used by the Waihopai Three after they admitted vandalism of the Waihopai Spy base in 2008. This trio argued they acted for the greater good, because disrupting satellite transmissions could save lives in Iraq. The defence can now be used only where the person believes they have a personal right in the property concerned.
The touchy-feely Greens plan to oppose this - no surprise really, we can't have the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, now can we, Spock?
Overall, good changes - just a shame they're not 2006.

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