The New Zealand Law Commission has created an online consultation site - www.talklaw.co.nz - to encourage feedback about its current law reform projects. The Law Commission is an independent Crown Entity responsible for reviewing New Zealand’s laws and providing law reform advice to the Government.
The review of privacy law is the first forum topic open for discussion and asks questions concerning the growing spread of surveillance technologies (eg. CCTV and computer tracking) and the ways in which the media are exempt from some privacy laws. The closing date for comments on this topic is 11 September 2009.
It also plans to establish a presence on FaceBook to attract interest from a younger audience.
“The internet gives us a unique tool to move beyond our usual consultative processes and to engage with a wider cross-section of New Zealand society,” said Dr Warren Young, the Deputy President of the Commission. “We’re hoping that we’ll get comments and feedback from people from all walks of life right across New Zealand, especially people in their 20s and 30s who might otherwise not engage with us.” The Law Commission has extended the consultation period for its review of privacy law to allow for online feedback via TalkLaw.
In early August 2009 the site will launch the 'TalkLiquor' forum discussion, where Internet users will have the opportunity to devate the Law Commission Review of the Sale and Supply of Liquor (Sale of Liquor Act 1989).
The Law Commission will release a discussion paper on 31 July 2009. Dr Young said he expected there to be huge public interest in this.
“The regulatory framework around the sale and consumption of alcohol is a subject that just about all New Zealanders will have an opinion on. Most people, one way or another, buy, sell or consume alcohol, or are affected by its sale and consumption.”
Dr Young said the Law Commission would use all of the comments and submissions made by the public to help frame its recommendations to the Government for any changes to the law.
The Commission is interested in hearing the views of a broad audience on these subjects and the purpose of the site is to ensure they can enhance their consultation processes to include the views of a broader cross-section of New Zealand society in their recommendations to Government.