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

 


Prisoners denied access to justice

Prisoners denied access to justice

It is lamentable but perhaps understandable that when New Zealand is facing mass migration to Australia, growing inequality and some 270,000 children living in poverty that the Minister of Corrections should be involving herself in a smokescreen of being seen to be hard on prison inmates over smoking, when there are demonstrably more pressing issues that need the Government's urgent attention.

The newly minted Supplementary Order Paper presented to the House of Representatives by Minister Tolley which will have the effect of blocking recourse to Courts in relation to the smoking ban in prisons is offensive to human rights norms and amounts to bullying by a Government obviously embarrassed by its recent loss in the High Court.

Under international law as reflected in our Corrections Act, prison sentences must not be administered more restrictively than is reasonably necessary to ensure the maintenance of the law and the safety of the public, prison staff and the inmates. The Court correctly found that the Government's blanket ban on smoking did not meet the aims of the Corrections Act, which is to ensure that prison sentences are administered in a safe, secure, humane and effective manner. Neither was it shown that the ban was reasonably necessary to ensure the maintenance of the law or the safety of the public, corrections staff of other prisoners.

It is ironic that many inmates are serving sentences because they "took the law into their own hands", rather than turning to the Courts to seek relief. Now when inmates do just that and legitimately challenge the Government on its breaches of their fundamental rights, the Government shows a high handed disregard for its obligations and has no hesitation in blocking access to justice.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news