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


Reassert the Place of Human Rights within the System

Reassert the Place of Human Rights within the Criminal Justice System says Rethinking.

Date : 1st August 2014

“If there is one major challenge, it is to reassert the place and preservation of human rights within the criminal justice system”, said Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. In a wide ranging speech (http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/Papers%20and%20Presentations/140731Changing_Fashions_in_Criminal_Justice.pdf)
to the Meadowbank U3A last week, Mr Workman concluded by urging those present, to advocate for a review of the government’s approach to the human rights of those affected by the criminal justice system.

“Over the last five years, there has been an incremental and expanding introduction of legislative measures that are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law, to the extent that the Law Society has felt impelled to report this matter to the United Nations. They expressed their concern that a number of bills formally declared by the Attorney-General to be in breach of the Bill of Rights have recently been enacted.”

“Of the thirteen legislative measures identified by the Law Society, nine impacted directly on prisoners and offenders. In addition, the Attorney General did not report under Section 7 of the Act on any of the six Acts of Parliament passed in 2013 which appeared to be in breach of the Bill of Rights Act”.

“Things may be about to change. Last week, the High Court in considering the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010 decided something constitutionally significant. It concluded that courts can issue a declaration that the Act is inconsistent with the right to vote under s12(a) of the Bill of Rights Act 1990 even though Parliament is New Zealand's supreme lawmaker. It sends a strong signal to Parliament that if its legislation does not limit the right to vote in a reasonable way, as justified in a free and democratic society, then Parliament is breaching fundamental rights affirmed in our Bill of Rights.”

Workman told the audience, “A nation that is seeking a place on the UN Security Council, must demonstrate that we are living up to our international rankings in the areas of social justice, peace and freedom. That is not possible at present; but it is within our grasp. What we need is people of influence like yourselves, to awaken the nation’s sense of honour. Shame and ridicule, and criticism from respected citizens and more civilized nations, are sharp moral motivators. When a highly immoral or deplorable practice becomes sufficiently repugnant in the eyes of a sufficient number of people, there will be a mood swing against it.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news