Are liberties at stake in a proposed DNA law change?

Today’s New Zealand Herald reports that the Justice Minister expects strong public debate over the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill, which allows DNA to be taken from anyone the police ‘intend to charge’ with an imprisonable offence.

Earlier this week it was reported in the New Zealand Herald that the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson said the proposed new legislation appeared to breach the Bill of Rights and that statutory safeguards would be needed in New Zealand.

Civil libertarians are said to be outraged according to TV3 this week, however, TVNZ report that DNA sampling is supported by the Police Association.

The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill had its first reading in Parliament on 10 February. The intention is for the Bill to be fully implemented by 2011.