28 Sep 2011

Lawyer says courts should decide on covert camera use

8:54 pm on 28 September 2011

A lawyer making a submission to a hearing on the Government's police surveillance bill says it should be for the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis when covert surveillance can be used.

The Video Camera Surveillance Bill effectively sets aside a Supreme Court ruling, which found the use of hidden cameras was illegal.

Parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee heard submissions on Wednesday in Wellington.

The Labour Party is keen to put up an alternative legislative fix to allow the police to resume the use of covert video surveillance.

The bill has also come under attack from legal professions, including the Law Society, dismissing it as inconsistent with the rule of law.

The lawyer, Annette Sykes, who's supporting the Law Society's submission, says the bill takes away people's civil rights.