End of Life Choice foes unite for rule of law

Tue, 30 Nov, 2021

The leading figures from opposite ends of the polarising End of Life Choice debate have united to criticise the Government’s failure to issue Public Health Orders underpinning the traffic light system.

Grant Illingworth QC appeared in television ads and media interviews and wrote opinion pieces against the End of Life Choice Bill. David Seymour sponsored the Bill through Parliament.

“I am not an ACT supporter and have had some very well-known disagreements with David Seymour, but we agree on some things. One thing we agree on is that law should be written down so that people can know their rights,” says Mr Illingworth.

“At the moment, if you want to know what the law will be under the traffic light system, it doesn’t exist. Even if you paid a lawyer to advise you, there is no law they can look at. This is not a satisfactory situation for any society committed to the rule of law.

“Either the Government has the law and is not publishing it for some reason, or they still haven’t finished writing it despite the Traffic Light System coming into effect in three days’ time. Either way, they should be more committed to prompt and clear law making, even in a pandemic.”

“Parliament rushed through law last Tuesday and Wednesday nights so that the Government could issue Public Health Orders underpinning the traffic light system. Now we are closer to the traffic light system operating than we are to last Wednesday, but the Government still hasn’t published any regulations about how the Traffic Light System will work,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“I’ve heard from business people who do not know how their business will be classified. What will they do if Worksafe comes around, how will they prove they are following the law when there is no law?

“If living in a free society means anything, it means that you can look up the law, understand what you need to do to follow it, and use the law to defend yourself if you’re accused of not following it.

“This Government has had months to get ready for the traffic light system. A pandemic is hard on everyone, but Government has had a lot of time now. Businesses are expected to scramble at the last minute because the Government is not organised. The rule of law should not be sacrificed because of Government disorganisation.”