Two student activists have won a court challenge to special World Youth Day laws that allowed police to detain people or fine them $5,500 for annoying or inconveniencing Catholic pilgrims.Basically, political speech is fine, just no infringing on the merchandising...
No To Pope Coalition members Amber Pike and Rachel Evans took the New South Wales Government to the Federal Court, arguing the laws were unconstitutional because they would make their peaceful protest illegal.
The Government passed the rules two weeks ago without discussion or debate.
The Full Bench of the Federal Court ruled the definition of 'annoyance' was too broad and the scope of the laws was uncertain.
It found that in giving the World Youth Day Coordination Authority the power to set the regulations, the Government would not have intended to infringe on freedom of speech.
The court said the law was intended to encourage policing and public safety but could be misused to infringe on people's rights.
However, the court dismissed the second part of the university students' challenge, upholding the section of the regulations that said prescribed items could not be distributed.
It said banning the unauthorised sale of certain items, including stickers, badges and T-shirts, was not unconstitutional and did not stop free political communication.
The judges said the No To Pope Coalition would not be prohibited from handing out condoms and leaflets under the laws.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
At least SOME countries still have some common sense...
Not a lot as the law was passed. But enough to knock it down before it caused probems for those who wished to exercise a basic human right: