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

 


New Zealand's Human Rights reputation takes a battering

New Zealand’s international Human Rights reputation takes battering following Arbitrary Detention report


“New Zealand’s reputation in the international Human Rights community has taken a serious battering, following the release of a statement by the UN Working Party on Arbitrary Detention”, said Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. The Working Party Chair, Mr Mads Andenas, released a statement at a press conference, following a two week visit to New Zealand.

“While Mr Andenas was careful to point out that New Zealand was seen as a standard bearer in the treatment of offenders and prisoners in comparison to other nations, it became quickly clear we did not deserve that reputation. Representatives of civil society who were present at the conference, felt ashamed that we failed to measure up on basic human right’s issues.

“The key issues of concern came as no surprise to those present”, said Mr Workman. In its statement, the Working Party noted that:

• The Public Safety (Public Protections Orders) Bill, currently before Parliament, breached international law; prisoners who have served their sentence cannot be further detained under the label of civil preventive detention;

• The 2005 Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims Act 2005 was in breach of international law. This Act prevents a prisoner who makes a successful claim against the Crown, from keeping any compensation received.

• There were indications of systemic bias against Maori at all levels of the criminal justice system. The Working Party urged a review into the degree of inconsistency and systems bias, including the impact of recent legislative reform. It noted that four previous UN reports have identified the same issue.

• Seventeen year old offenders continue to be treated as adults, despite recommendation from the UN that the protection measures available under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 be extended to this age group.

• There were insufficient protection measures available to persons with mental or intellectual disabilities, who were detained

The Working Party was seriously concerned about the quality of legal advice presented to Parliament about New Zealand’s international law obligations. Kim Workman said that while this was a concern shared by the NGO sector, the view was that the public sector had lost its will to provide full and frank advice. “More and more, it looks as though Ministers are telling public servants what to say, and in some cases, telling them to say nothing at all.”

Reference: http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/GeneralPDF/UN_Working_Group_on_Arbitrary_Detention_Statement_Following_New_Zealand_Visit.pdf


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

"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.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

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:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news