Thursday, August 31, 2006

Political Suicide By Hansard, Updated

The Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Material Offences) Act 2005 is what is raising heckles, as far as I can gather.

To recap: the Hon. Sandra Kanck came out in state parliment and tried to demonstrate how stupid the amendment was. Then everyone kicked up a fuss.

Basically, the amendment says it's offense to have certain material and publish it on the internet. Here's a snippet from the actual amendment.

(3) To avoid doubt, a person is not guilty of an offence against subsection (1) merely because the person uses a carriage service to:

(a) engage in public discussion or debate about euthanasia or suicide; or

(b) advocate reform of the law relating to euthanasia or suicide;

if the person does not:

(c) intend to use the material concerned to counsel or incite committing or attempting to commit suicide; or

(d) intend that the material concerned be used by another person to counsel or incite committing or attempting to commit suicide.

(4) To avoid doubt, a person is not guilty of an offence against subsection (2) merely because the person uses a carriage service to:

(a) engage in public discussion or debate about euthanasia or suicide; or

(b) advocate reform of the law relating to euthanasia or suicide;

if the person does not:

(c) intend to use the material concerned to promote a method of committing suicide or provide instruction on a method of committing suicide; or

(d) intend that the material concerned be used by another person to promote a method of committing suicide or provide instruction on a method of committing suicide; or

(e) intend the material concerned to be used by another person to commit suicide.
Huh? What?! What Kanck said was protected by the very amendment itself! What the vultures said was 'shameful' is actually catered for in law!

That's awesome. One party, Kanck, doesn't like the law because it tries to prohibit information being free under certain circumstances, and the rest of the state government doesn't like the law because it allows people to get away with speaking freely about suicide in order to cause debate!
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