O'Brien . . . My Long Road Back

● The Rule of Law

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The Sovereign

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God,
Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories,
Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith

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New Zealand has a constitution and the  Constitution Act 1986  is the principal formal statement of the constitution.  This Act recognises that the Queen, the Sovereign in right of New Zealand, is the Head of State of New Zealand and that the Governor-General appointed by her is her representative.

By convention this system of governance is based on the Rule of Law {*} and has four independent cornerstones that serve as checks and balances — being:  the Parliament or House of Representatives, the Judiciary, the Police, and the Media or Fourth Estate.

An introduction to these foundations of the current form of government is available here in the  Cabinet Manual and another excellent resource on the constitution is available here from Government House.

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{*}  Police Oath

“. . . I,  Patrick John O’Brien,  do swear that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen in the Police, without favour or affection, malice or ill will, until I am legally discharged;  that I will see and cause  Her Majesty’s Peace  to be kept and preserved;  that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences against the peace;  and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law.  So help me God . . .”

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{*}  Crimes Act 1961- No 43

PART 6 – PERJURY:

SECTION 108

(1)  Perjury  is an assertion as to a matter of fact, opinion, belief, or knowledge made by a witness in a judicial proceeding as part of his evidence on oath, whether the evidence is given in open Court or by affidavit or otherwise, that assertion being known to the witness to be false and being intended by him to mislead the tribunal holding the proceeding.

(2)  In this section the term oath includes an affirmation, and also includes a declaration made under section 13 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957.

(3)  Every person is a witness within the meaning of this section who actually gives evidence, whether he is competent to be a witness or not, and whether his evidence is admissible or not.

(4)  Every proceeding is judicial within the meaning of this section if it is held before any of the following tribunals, namely:

(a)  Any Court of justice:

(b)  The House of Representatives or any Committee of that House:

(c)  Any arbitrator or umpire, or any person or body of persons authorised by law to make an inquiry and take evidence therein upon oath:

(d)  Any legal tribunal by which any legal right or liability can be established:

(e)  Any person acting as a Court or tribunal having power to hold a judicial proceeding:

(f)  Any court-martial held under the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971.

(5)  Every such proceeding is judicial within the meaning of this section whether the tribunal was duly constituted or appointed or not, and whether the proceeding was duly instituted or not, and whether the proceeding was invalid or not.

SECTION 109

(1)  Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who commits perjury.

(2)  If  perjury  is committed in order to procure the conviction of a person for any offence for which the maximum punishment is not less than 3 years’ imprisonment, the punishment may be imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

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{*}  Magna Carta 1215 AD

Article 39:  No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land

Article 40:  To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice

Article 45:  We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well

Note:   currently, New Zealand legislation only includes  Article 29  from the Magna Carta of 1297 AD

NO freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his freehold, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed;  nor will we not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.  We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right.”

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{*}  My letter to the Queen

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http://obrien.wordpress.com/crown/

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