Lawyer prepared to take on Stanton's case for free
Nelson lawyer Steven Zindel is going to appeal Lewis Stanton's bail condition not to enter the city's CBD within certain business hours, and says that if legal aid isn't approved, he'll do it for nothing.
Mr Zindel, who described himself as "generally to the left of the spectrum" on civil liberties, said today Stanton had a right to make a political protest in a visible area, and "the foot traffic is needed for him to receive a survivable level of donations from passing people of goodwill".
He said the legal ground was a section of the Bail Act providing for bail conditions to be opposed where reasonably necessary to prevent offending while on bail.
"Hone fully intends to resume his vigil if he is granted bail, but does not consider that this is obstruction of the footpath, and therefore that he will not be offending while on bail. Meanwhile, he languishes in custody until his hearing on August 3."
Stanton puts a hat out to collect money while protesting. However, Mr Zindel drew a distinction between begging and accepting donations. He said only people who supported Stanton's cause were likely to give him money, while those who wanted him gone from the street certainly wouldn't.
Mr Zindel said an application for legal aid had been made, but he had already made a commitment to go ahead with the appeal whether or not it was approved or assigned to him.
Stanton was also waiting for the Nelson City Council to amend its bylaws "to allow a measure of freedom camping as mandated by the Freedom Camping Act".
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