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

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news