Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

The Most Important Victory Yet For Ahmed Zaoui

The Most Important Victory Yet For Ahmed Zaoui


http://norightturn.blogspot.com

Ahmed Zaoui has won another battle in the Court of Appeal, making it two-and-a-half out of three. But reading the full judgement, this may very well be the most important one of all.

Briefly put, the court decided that the Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence must take Zaoui's human rights into account when reviewing the security risk certificate. But it goes further than that - a lot further than that. The decision

  • affirms wide-ranging rights of judicial review;
  • affirms the independence of Inspector-General, and that he must conduct a real review of the evidence upon which the security risk certificate is based, rather than interviewing the Director of the SIS and applying a rubber stamp:

    the Inspector-General is to come to his own view about the nature, credibility and relevance of information said to be classified, and to his own view as to whether a person in question is properly covered by a relevant security criterion. The Inspector-General’s review is not in the nature of that type of judicial review which examines another person’s decision for rationality. It is a process of independent assessment by the Inspector-General.

  • The one loss for Zaoui is that the Inspector-General should not consider questions of what will occur if he is deported - those questions are for the Minister.
  • Despite this, the Inspector-General must take the Refugee Convention into account, as it has been imported into New Zealand Law through Immigration Act, and must take human rights and the international jurisprudence into account in its interpretation. Regard must be had for the freedoms of association and expression affirmed in the Bill of Rights Act.

It's the latter that makes this case the most important one for Zaoui so far. S. 129X of the Immigration Act 1987 bars the deportation or removal of any refugee "unless the provisions of Article 32.1 or Article 33.2 of the Refugee Convention" allow it. Article 33.2 is the relevant one, and it allows deportation or removal of a refugee only where

...there are reasonable grounds for regarding [them] as a danger to the security of the country in which he is, or who, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country.

There's a fair bit of international jurisprudence on what exactly this means, and what it comes down to is that there must be (to quote Justice Glazebrook)

objectively reasonable grounds based on credible evidence that Mr Zaoui constitutes a danger to the security of New Zealand of such seriousness that it would justify sending a person back to persecution. The threshold is high and must involve a danger of substantial threatened harm to the security of New Zealand... There must be a real connection between Mr Zaoui himself and the prospective or current danger to national security and an appreciable alleviation of that danger must be capable of being achieved through his deportation.

Furthermore,

It is also important to remember that the term used is "security". Concerns about New Zealand’s reputation can be taken into account only if they impinge to such a serious extent on national security that they could fairly be said to constitute a danger to national security. In this regard it must be stressed that the granting of refugee status cannot be seen as an unfriendly act, either on the part of the State where there is a risk of persecution or by any other State

Given that the core of the SIS's "case" against Zaoui is that allowing him to stay may offend other nations and undermine our international reputation, the above effectively constrains the Inspector-General to revoke the Security Risk Certificate. The Court of Appeal may just have written Zaoui's release papers.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>