Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Concern over removal of natural justice

26 October 2007

MEDIA RELEASE

Concern over removal of natural justice from Immigration Bill

"Our hope is that here in New Zealand people will know they are welcome and that they have come to a place of justice, solidarity and hospitality."
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference: The rights of refugees and migrants, 2002

Caritas and the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference have joined forces to make a joint submission about the Immigration Bill. Caritas is particularly concerned about aspects of the Bill that are contrary to the principles of natural justice, including the extension of the use of undisclosed classified information.

Caritas research and advocacy officer Lisa Beech said the Bill would allow considerably more use of undisclosed classified information than at present, and would also extend the definition of classified information. "There are many natural justice concerns in these new provisions."

Natural justice is about ensuring that legal procedures are fair. It is recognised not only in New Zealand's Bill of Rights, but also in international human rights agreements such as the Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "Principles of natural justice cannot be changed simply by domestic legislation or majority decision," said Lisa Beech.

Lisa Beech said there were also concerns that appeal provisions are removed in many parts of the Bill, often at quite a low level, such as decisions made by an Immigration Officer. "Caritas and other Catholic agencies' experience is that many mistakes are made at a junior level in the Immigration Service, and believes a right of appeal must remain."

The Bill merges the four existing appeal bodies into a single Immigration and Protection Tribunal. Lisa Beech said that while on first glance this might appear to be simplifying a complicated process, there are important distinctions between the different categories that will be lost.

"In particular Caritas is concerned that there not be any downgrading of the importance of the Refugee Convention, and of the international reputation that the Refugee Status Appeals Authority has gained for its decisions. We want the Authority maintained as a separate decision making body," she said.

The Bill provides for the first time for the use of biometric information, including photographs, fingerprints and iris scans, about which Caritas has no major concerns. "However, it appears very significant that the use of DNA testing has not been included in the Bill, and that there continues to be no legal framework for the extensive use of DNA testing by the Immigration Service in refugee family reunification cases."

While welcoming the inclusion in the Bill of people in need of protection under the Convention against Torture, Caritas and the NZCBC will ask the Select Committee to consider how New Zealand will respond to the issue of people displaced by environmental factors, which are expected to number at least one million people in the Pacific alone by the end of this century.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages