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

 


Ministerial Interference May Affect Human Rights Commission

Ministerial Interference Could Affect Independence of Human Rights Commission


Proposed amendments to the Human Rights Act seriously affect the Human Rights Commission’s ability to act independently of government, Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment, told the Justice and Electoral Committee yesterday.

In his oral submission on the Human rights Amendment Bill, Mr Workman told the Select Committee that internationally, human rights institutions are judged on their ability to operate freely and without government interference. “Those requirements are set out in the Paris Principles, which were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993.”

“This proposed legislation breaches those rights, in that the Chief Commissioner can only determine the extent to which Commissioners engage in activities, and allocate work, after consultation with the Minister.”

“Such a requirement would be unremarkable in a government agency, or crown owned enterprise. But the Human Rights Commission is a different vehicle. It is an organisation which is judged nationally and internationally, on the extent to which it is able to discharge its responsibilities independent of government.”

“Its effect is not simply to allow the Minister to interfere with the Chief Commissioner’s authority, and ultimately his or her integrity. It requires the Minister to co-manage the institution, and direct its operation.”

Mr Workman said that Rethinking was concerned about the implications for the criminal justice sector. “Of the eleven pieces of legislation passed in breach of the Bill of Rights over the last three years, eight of them directly impacted on offenders and prisoners. If the responsible Minister, who is also the Minister of Justice, can direct the Human Rights Chief Commissioner away from work in the criminal justice sector, then issues such as structural discrimination in the justice sector, will go unattended.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

IGIS: Report On Release Of NZSIS Information To Cameron Slater

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, published her report on the inquiry into the release of NZSIS information to Mr Cameron Slater at a press conference in Wellington today...

The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office.

“These errors resulted in misplaced criticism of the then Leader of the Opposition, Hon Phil Goff MP. Mr Goff is owed a formal apology by the Service,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news