In a strongly-worded statement from spokesman Neville Pettersson, the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) has criticised the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) on its positions on key bills, saying that the way the society is acting warrants changing their name.
The SST is suggesting the NZLS be rechristened the “Criminal Leniency Society.”
“The Law Society has turned its back on the law abiding majority of New Zealanders and is instead writing in support of child sex offenders and serious offenders,” said Pettersson.
His group is incensed at the suggestions made by the NZLS to the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) bill which were centred on “serious concerns
about the manner in which the proposed register would infringe civil rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The SST also notes that the NZLS recommended that the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill “not proceed
Furthermore, the position of the NZLS on the Clean Slate petition “supported broadening
the eligibility of offenders for Clean Slate,” the SST noted.
“What organisation representing the rule of law and justice in New Zealand can legitimately oppose something called the Child Protection Bill? This Law Society is becoming a Tui Billboard, but not a funny one,” said Pettersson.
The SST’s statement pointed out that the NZLS’s purpose is outlined in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, s65, which is to uphold the rule of law and make sure that justice is being served.
This includes law reform, the SST stressed.
“How does overtly supporting paedophiles and serious offenders, who are the minority in our society, benefit the public interest? I mean, these guys are all lawyers right, didn’t they swear and oath to protect us? Why the heck are they fighting for minority offenders rights?” Pettersson said.
“My challenge to NZLS is to make your next submission on serious offending based on protecting the public interest. Fighting for laws to protect our kids and our communities is difficult enough without having to battle the behemoth of all of New Zealand’s lawyers.”
The Sensible Sentencing Trust has previously responded to the Law Society’s opposition to the proposed Child Protection (Sex Offender Register) Bill. Pettersson has also written in opposition to the NZLS stance on protecting a sex offender’s right to change their name. SST has also just put in a submission, also against the NZLS position, to keep the Clean Slate Act as it is.