New Zealand – High Court’s quashing of disorderly behaviour convictions against John Minto and five other protesters

Justice Paul Heath struck out the convictions, which followed a megaphone protest at last year’s New Zealand women’s tennis Open featuring Israeli Shahar Pe’er. The judge said disruption of an individual’s enjoyment of a sporting event was not the same as disruption of public order. The judge also said it was clear the protest was meant to convey to the tennis player the concerns at “the way Israel treated the Palestinian Territories”. “The level of noise had to be sufficiently loud to impart their views to those inside the stadium. If that were not their intention, there would have been no point in using megaphones or other forms of amplifications.” Justice Heath set aside the conviction and said there was no need for the case to go back to the District Court.

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