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 Global Factors Facing TV3

Oaktree Capital gave MediaWorks a gallows reprieve in 2013 by pushing out its former Australian owner Ironbridge and facilitating a receivership-driven restructure that enabled MediaWorks to shed a burden of tax liabilities and international programme purchasing contracts. Oaktree eventually assumed 100% ownership of Mediaworks in 2015.

But here’s the rub. In May of this year, Oaktree itself was bought into by the giant Canadian firm Brookfields Asset Management... In the light of the Brookfields stake and the uncertain state of the global economy, Oaktree has come under pressure to shed and/or streamline the underperforming assets in its portfolio. More>>

 

Bullying Investigations: Police Commissioner Announces Independent Review

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced an independent review of the systems and processes NZ Police has in place to address complaints of bullying. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Now We Are Two

Questions covered Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments on the potential closure of Mediaworks' television channels, the Auckland light rail planning process, the select committee report on the Zero Carbon Bill and its methane target range... More>>

Court Issues New Guildines: Revamp Of Meth Sentencing Welcomed

The court accepted submissions by both the New Zealand Bar Association and the New Zealand Law Society that rather than solely focusing on the quantity of meth involved, there should be greater focus on the role of the offender. More>>

ALSO:

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels