A paedophile’s rights trump the safety of society

A bid by a National backbench MP to make it illegal for paedophiles to change their names has been rejected.

Jian Yang’s private member’s bill would have made child sex offenders ineligible to register a new name, and was designed to make it more difficult for them to reoffend.

It was found to be inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression, and Ministry of Justice officials warned that it would have little effect on minimising harm from paedophiles while possibly harming their attempts at rehabilitation.

In a report released last week, Parliament’s social services committee said that the bill should not be passed into law.

Committee chairman and National MP Alfred Ngaro said an alternative solution had been found which did not raise the same human rights concerns.

Curious that a child sex offender’s Rights to Freedom of Expression can not be curtailed by preventing a name change. Changing your name is already curtailed. You can’t call yourself Fucky McFuckface, for example. So, I’m not sure where the Ministry of Justice draws the line. 

The Ministry of Justice’s legal advisers said that the law change could also hinder an offender’s rehabilitation or reintegration into society, in particular offenders who were victims of child abuse themselves.

They warned that the bill would have had a “negligible” effect because there was no legal requirement to register a name to use it.

A person was not legally obliged to provide their registered name or any other information unless it was specifically stated in law.

Therefore, the bill would not have prevented paedophiles from committing identity fraud or from falsely using another person’s name.

A drafting error meant that the law change had a very wide scope and would have captured not only sex offenders but also some violent offenders.

When people get imprisoned they lose all sorts of rights as a consequence. I still can’t see why stopping sex offenders from hiding under another name is anything but a sensible move.


– NZ Herald


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  • Lord Onerous I

    Dr. Yang seems to have a good sensible head on his shoulders. It may not have gone through this time, but it seems like he’s genuinely thinking of actual problems and solutions. He also made that great speech earlier in the week:

  • Seriously?

    I can see both sides of this story. For “people” like this the criminal justice system ought to have two aims: Punish them, and do our best to prevent them reoffending once they leave prison.

    If the Ministry officials are right that letting them change their name helps reintegration when they leave prison, and that in turn lessens the chance of reoffending, then that is a good thing. Less victims.

    If on the other hand if the ability for the public to know who they are lessens the chance of reoffending, then that is a good thing. Less victims.

    To the extent that the two operate in opposite directions, I’m for whichever might be more effective overall. I’m all for whatever is likely to lead to less victims – the rights of the offender do enter into it.

    Maybe the answer is that those low risk get to change their name, but those at medium or high risk don’t. But that is for the number-crunchers to figure out, not me, and not some politician.

  • waldopepper

    we live in a world where we bang on about our “children” being our most important possession, when nothing could be further from the truth. if they were, the rights of the next child victim would take precedence over that of a convicted sex offender. plus, we know these guys cant be cured so why do we persist with the charade ?

  • John

    It’s a shame you can’t go and change Nicky Hager’s name to F McFF as per the above. Nominative determinism in action.

  • digby

    The rights of the community to be free from negative effects such as sexual violence, violence, theft, drunk drivers etc should always trump the rights of the individual. It seems that the legal fraternity always seem to ignore this basic right. It is common sense. I would be perfectly happy with speed cameras everywhere, red light cameras everywhere, drink / drug driving checks everywhere.
    I can remember when some dick had swallowed a heap of condoms full of drugs and the police had to wait it out in a hotel with him because some idiot judge said it would infringe his rights if the police x-rayed him. It cost the taxpayers a lot of money to house this idiot and the police required for what seemed to be a very long time. Silly