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Zaoui decision a victory for procedural fairness

25 November 2004

Zaoui decision a victory for procedural fairness

In an important decision today both for Ahmed Zaoui, and for the rule of law in New Zealand, the Supreme Court has found that the High Court has the power to either grant bail or to vary the terms of the warrant of committal.

The Court have also underlined the importance of the Refugee Convention to which New Zealand has signed up.

The Supreme Court has also found that Mr Zaoui is entitled to the benefit of the convention because the internationally highly regarded Refugee Status Appeals Authority has found him to be a genuine refugee. The RSAA had conducted a lengthy analysis of his case.

The Supreme Court has also found that having spent over 23 months in jail that it would be “oppressive to let the process be drawn out any more and that further delay should not be countenanced.”

This decision is a victory for procedural fairness, for the rule of law, and for common sense.

The next step is that the Supreme Court will on 9 December hear further argument on the question of bail or transfer to the Mangere Refugee Centre.


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