Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Regulatory Standards Bill a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Regulatory Standards Bill a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

"The Regulatory Standards Bill introduced to Parliament yesterday is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Despite its bland title, the Bill could significantly change the relationship between Parliament and the courts. It would give unelected judges the sorts of powers that courts are not well equipped to exercise, and that should instead belong to democratically elected MPs," says Alex Penk, Policy and Research Manager at Maxim Institute. "Even the Treasury evaluation of the Bill, does not support it."

"The Bill is essentially a re-named version of the Regulatory Responsibility Bill that was analysed in a paper published by Maxim Institute in February. A number of serious concerns were identified by the paper's authors, Dr Richard Ekins and Chye-Ching Huang of the University of Auckland. All of those concerns apply to the Bill that is now before Parliament," says Penk.

"In particular, that paper argued that there was no solid evidence base for the proposed Bill, that it contained unorthodox and contentious principles, and that the role it would give to the courts is deeply problematic. The Bill would allow courts to issue declarations that a particular law does not meet the Bill's principles of good law-making if they think the inconsistency can't be justified. But this means asking courts to get involved in political value judgements. The courts would also be empowered to reinterpret provisions in other laws to make them more consistent with the Bill's principles. A re-interpreted provision could end up looking quite different to what Parliament originally intended."

"While everyone can and should agree with the intention to improve the quality of our law, the Bill misfires," says Penk. "Parliament should vote against the Bill when it comes to its first reading."


Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Government's Assault On Maori

This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Audrey Young in the NZ Herald has compiled a useful list of the many ways Christopher Luxon plans to roll back the progress made in race relations over the past forty years. He has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.