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Anzac Protester Given Leave To Appeal

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 5 NZPA - Flag-burning Wellington protester Valerie Morse has won another day in court.

The Court of Appeal has granted her permission to appeal against Justice Forrest Miller's decision not to allow her to appeal against a conviction for behaving in an offensive manner arising out of an incident in which she burnt a New Zealand flag at an Anzac Day dawn service in 2007.

Morse and Mark Daniel Rawnsley were arrested after disrupting the Wellington service -- Morse by burning a New Zealand flag and Rawnsley by blowing a horn during a speech.

Justice Miller, in June last year, upheld punishments handed down in Wellington District Court, including a fine of $500 for offensive behaviour for Morse and a conviction and discharge for Rawnsley for resisting and obstructing police. Today the Court of Appeal, in a judgment given by Justice William Young, granted Morse leave to appeal on the question whether the conclusion of the High Court judge was consistent with sections 5 and 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Section 5 relates to the rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights being subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Section 14 says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

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