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


NZ preventive detention violates human rights: UN experts

Preventive detention in New Zealand violates

human rights, UN experts find

GENEVA (19 April 2018) – New Zealand violated its obligations under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights by keeping two men convicted of rape in exceptionally lengthy preventive detention after they had served their sentences, the UN Human Rights Committee found. New Zealand must immediately reconsider the continued detention of the men, and take steps to facilitate their release, the Committee said in its decision, issued today in Geneva.

The full decision is available to read here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2fC%2f121%2fD%2f2502%2f2014&Lang=en
Allan Brian Miller and Michael John Carroll were each convicted of rape in 1991 and 1988, respectively. Despite being eligible for parole after 10 years of imprisonment, both remained imprisoned, and in individual complaints to the Human Rights Committee filed in 2014 alleged that New Zealand did not afford them access to adequate rehabilitative programs in prison, and that as a result, their continued detention was arbitrary and violated their right to personal liberty.

With the agreement of the parties, the Committee conducted the case through its first-ever oral hearing, allowing the parties’ legal representatives to respond directly, in person and through video conferencing, to Committee members’ questions on New Zealand’s preventive detention law and practice as applied to sex offenders in general, and to Mr. Miller and Mr. Carroll in particular.

In its decision in the case, the Committee found that New Zealand violated its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, writing that "The Committee considers that as the length of preventive detention increases, the State party bears an increasingly heavy burden to justify continued detention and to show that the threat posed by the individual cannot be addressed by alternative measures. As a result, a level of risk which might reasonably justify a short-term preventive detention, may not necessarily justify a longer period of preventive detention.”

“The institution of preventive detention for sex offenders stands in tension with the right to liberty under the Covenant, which demands that criminal sentences fit the crimes committed. The Committee is of the view that states resorting to open-ended preventive detention must afford robust judicial safeguards applying strict proportionality analysis,” said Mr. Yuval Shany, Vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee.

The Human Rights Committee called on New Zealand to review its relevant legislation governing preventive detention.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Dutton 'Gone': Time For Australia To Reconsider On Refugees

Hard line Australian immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s move to the backbench should reopen a conversation about refugees on Nauru coming to New Zealand, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has said today.

“Australia has a unique opportunity now that Peter Dutton has moved to the backbench.

“There are 119 children on Nauru who are languishing in despair. Every day spent in detention is another day robbed of their childhood and a safe and nurturing environment.” More>>


Maximum $100 Fine: AA Cautiously Welcomes Clamping Regulation

The AA has been calling for years for the private parking sector to be regulated, including banning the practice of wheel clamping. More>>


Ardern Speech: Justice Summit Opens

If we want to talk about an effective justice system, we shouldn’t start with a discussion about prisons, but a discussion about New Zealand... More>>


NZDF: New Chiefs Of Navy, Army And Air Force

“I’m delighted to announce that following approval by Cabinet, Commodore David Proctor, Brigadier John Boswell and Air Commodore Andrew Clark have been appointed by the Governor-General to lead their respective Services,” says Ron Mark. More>>


Christchurch Quake: New Red Zone Payment For Uninsured

The Government will pay former residential red zone owners 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for uninsured homes, Minister Megan Woods has announced today. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On MP Pay And The REAL P.C. Danger Zone

There has never been anything remotely credible about the way parliamentarians would paint themselves as the helpless victims of the Remuneration Authority when it came to their pay increases... More>>


Repatriation: Remains Of NZ Service People Return Home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Veterans Ron Mark say they were honoured to be with the families of service personnel as they welcomed their loved ones home. More>>


Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>


Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>





Featured InfoPages