NZ Herald Aug 06, 2009
* Jim Evans is emeritus professor of law at Auckland University.
John Roughan is a good political commentator, but he is not right about section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961. The law it lays down is far from clear. Since much confusion exists about the section, let me try to clarify its effect as briefly as possible.
..This is not clear legislation. In creating this law, Parliament abandoned its constitutional responsibility to say with clarity just which conduct is criminal. The section results from a political fudge. Whatever other views one takes about the topic of smacking, that much at least ought to be kept clear.