a Rainey Collins solicitor appeared as one of the defence counsel in the “Flag Burners” hearing in the Wellington District Court from 20-24 October 2003.

One of the charges dealt with at the hearing was one under the Flags, Emblems and Protected Names Act 1981.  This Act, passed during the Springbok tour of that year, makes it a crime to damage the flag with an intention to “dishonour” it.  Arguments were made that the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1991 guarantee of freedom of expression provided a defence to this charge.

The Presiding Judge reserved his decision and is expected to deliver it before 21 November 2003.