17 Sep 2013

Review delay understandable - Law Commission

9:16 am on 17 September 2013

The Law Commission says it understands the Government's decision to shut down a review of the country's anti-terrorism laws.

The commission was to review the Terrorism Suppression Act after concerns were raised in the aftermath of the Urewera raids in 2007.

Police relied upon the act to spy on and arrest activists, and tried to lay charges under it, but the Solicitor General ruled there was insufficient evidence and said the legislation was flawed.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says she halted the review as there are more urgent matters the Law Commission should focus on.

Commission president Sir Grant Hammond says he understands the need to prioritise as the organisation has a heavy workload at the moment.

"You can't do everything at once and it doesn't make a lot of sense for us to be spending our precious funds on something that the administration is not presently interested in," he says.

However, a lawyer who represented some of those initially charged in the Urewera case, Michael Bott, says stopping the review is a lost opportunity and it should be prioritised.

Sir Grant says the Government has not indicated when the Law Commission should resume its review.