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A closer look at voyeurism

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Author Topic: A closer look at voyeurism  (Read 52 times)
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« on: March 07, 2009, 09:05:53 am »

Peeping Toms could soon be arrested for peering into properties during the day.

A strange quirk of New Zealand law means voyeurs are not breaking any privacy legislation if they do their "peeping and peering" in daylight hours.

The Law Commission yesterday released a discussion paper on invasion of privacy, seeking public feedback on whether this and other civil and criminal legislation in New Zealand should be extended and changed.

"Some of it is currently narrow," the paper says. "For example, the offence of peeping and peering into a dwellinghouse applies only at night, and the Harassment Act 1997 requires a pattern of conduct and not just an isolated incident. Is there a need to extend the ambit of any of these provisions?

"These are big issues and they are hard," said commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer, SC. "We need help from the public in arriving at our final recommendations."

The commission also asks the public whether any new criminal offences are needed to deal with specific types of intrusion.

The paper questions if there should be criminal or civil liability for certain uses of surveillance devices when they are used outside law enforcement.

Other issues include the regulation of closed-circuit television surveillance and any reforms to the law needed to deal with voyeurism not involving recording devices.

The paper is on www.lawcom.govt.nz. The closing date for submissions is May 29.
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