The Government is pushing to protect the integrity of the judiciary by limiting free speech and making it illegal to publish fake news about the courts, also known as "scandalising the court".

And it has taken aim at National MP Nick Smith, using his contempt of court conviction from 2004 as a reason for justifying the move.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said a new clause in the Contempt of Court bill, currently awaiting its third reading in Parliament, is a justified limitation on free speech to protect the administration of justice.

The clause has found favour with Smith's former caucus

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