This Weekend On The Nation

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Britains top law official is threatening more prosecutions of those who breach Court suppression orders or who commit contempt of court.This Weekend On The Nation

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Britain’s top law official is threatening more prosecutions of those who breach Court suppression orders or who commit contempt of court.

Dominic Grieve, the country’s Attorney General, in New Zealand for a meeting of Attorneys General from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand says you can’t have a common law system of justice — such as New Zealand and Britain have — “unless there is willingness to respect the rule of law and the criminal process.”

Speaking on TV3’s “The Nation” he said one of the problems of social media like Twitter was that not only could it cause a contempt of court to go viral but it emboldened the press “who think well if this is happening out on social media it no longer matters what we’re publishing either.”

Mr Grieve conceded that “up to a point” it was not possible to police Twitter.

“You can’t pick up every single example where somebody may break the law,” he said.

“But at the same time I think you can bring home to people that there are consequences of breaking the law.”

Mr Grieve also defended Britain’s adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights in the wake of criticism from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) which made big gains at Council election this week.

He said he shared some of the criticism of the way courts had interpreted the Convention.

“ But we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water<” he said.

“We've also got to accept that the court has been extraordinarily effective in promoting human rights in European countries, where human rights have frankly been very shaky. “


New Zealand is about to enter talks with a number of Central and South American countries to forge a new trade agreement.

And Trade Minister Tim Groser says it could be the start of something quite exciting.

Speaking on TV3’s “The Nation” Mr Groser said “this other thing that’s emerging with Mexico as the largest player, Columbia, Chile and Peru, is called the Pacific Alliance.”

“Both we and the Australians feel we’re a natural fit for these people, they are outward looking, they believe in integrating their economies, they have appalling pasts, military dictatorships, terrorism, but they’re all determined to move into the real world. “

However Mr Groser conceded that en end to protectionist agriculture tariffs in Japan now that it has agreed to join the Trans Pacific Partnership talks could still take 10 years.

And he also said we were making slow progress with Russia a free trade agreement.

“We’re trying to get some clean decisions, we understand they’re a great country, they’re doing it with us for the same reason the Chinese did it with us, which is they see a very progressive small open economy, but we’re highly experienced in these matters and their system is simply grappling with something they haven’t seen before<” he said.

And responding to speculation that he might stand down at the next election now that he has lost out on the WTO Secretary’s job he said he intended to stand.

“It's certainly my intention if I've got the support of the Prime Minister and the party,” he said.


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