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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news