Sunset clauses

Labour and the Greens have done a deal over the prisoner compensation bill.

Now the bill will be an awful unprincipled piece of law. How do I know this? Because it has a sunset clause which means it expires in a few years.

Whenever the Government needs to scratch an electoral issue by passing bad offensive law, it sticks in a sunset clause so the law does not remain on the books for long. They just want to be able to say before an election that have ‘handled’ an issue.

The most well known legislation with a sunset clause is the Electoral Integrity Act which gives party leaders and caucuses the ability to expel dissident MPs from Parliament. It will expire at this election. Not a single MP, outside Jim Anderton, really thinks that this is a good law.

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