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

 


Aspects Of Prisoner Compensation Claims Bill Unnecessary


MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 22 February 2012

Aspects Of Prisoner Compensation Claims Bill Unnecessary

The New Zealand Law Society believes that aspects of a bill restricting prisoners’ ability to obtain compensation for breaches of their human rights are unnecessary.

The Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims (Continuation and Reform) Amendment Bill proposes to continue the application of the Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims Act 2005 rather than allowing it to expire on 30 June 2013 as the law currently provides.

The Law Society supports the Government's decision to discharge an earlier Bill, which would have amended the 2005 Act to prevent prisoners from ever receiving compensation awarded to them by the courts for breaches of human rights.

However, the Law Society submitted that the part of the 2005 Act restricting prisoners’ ability to obtain compensation is unnecessary and that the courts should be free to determine when and how to award compensation for breaches of human rights, the Law Society's Human Rights and Privacy Committee Convenor Andrew Butler has told the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

“Human rights are an important and sensitive area of law. The courts provide an important guardian role against rights abuses by the State. As part of this, the courts should be able to determine the remedies for rights breaches by the State,” Dr Butler said.

“The making of compensation awards creates incentives for the State to cease activities that infringe individuals’ rights. It is important for the separation of powers that the courts are not restricted in this key constitutional role.”

The guiding principles for awarding compensation outlined in the Supreme Court decision Taunoa v Attorney-General in 2007 were not in place when Parliament passed the 2005 Act. The Supreme Court decision adequately addresses issues regarding compensation to prisoners, and it would be better to allow the courts to adapt the law as human rights standards evolve, Dr Butler said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news