Participatory Legislation

A new and rather surprising step forward in mass collaboration is taking place in New Zealand, where members of the public are being allowed to help craft new legislation through the use of a wiki. It will be very interesting to see the progress of the project as it evolves, especially as it is open to people all over the world, in the hopes that the insights, knowledge and expertise of people everywhere can help craft better laws.

The question that will be most interesting to have answered, though, is this; will it, indeed, result in better laws? Taking a quick look at the wiki, I came across the following passage:

Police should however be limited in their response to someone defending their own home or business. If a person harms a criminal who enters their premises police are to confine themselves to helping clean up, determining that the criminal was there unlawfully and not lured into the premises and arresting the criminal. Police should not normally charge people who injure or terminate a crim while defending themselves or others, their home, business or property.

This is something that I’ll be following with considerable curiosity and interest. Will a passionate and knowledgeable contributor base come together to craft something that matters? Or will legislators have to comb through reams of strange and difficult-to-interpret edicts inserted into the draft?

The wiki itself can be found here.

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