Twenty Seconds on NZ’s UPR – Constitutional Supremacy of Human Rights Legislation

 

  1. The NZ Bill of Rights Act ORA can be subordinated to an ordinary statute. Parliament has at times exercised its supremacy to override NZBORA, contrary to its international obligations. For example, the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (No 2) was passed under urgency, and contained a clause preventing review of the subject matter of the law by the Human Rights Review Tribunal, or by the Courts, for incompatibility with the NZBORA. Similarly, the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010 enacted a blanket disenfranchisement of all prisoners, despite the Attorney General advising under section 7 that this was inconsistent with NZBORA. The NZBORA should be granted supreme status to over-ride rights-infringing legislation. Similarly the Human Rights Act 1993 (HRA) should be amended so that it over-rides a contrary statute.

 HRF Coalition Recommendatio.

 HRF Coalition Recommendations:

  • Incorporate all rights enshrined in international human rights instruments to which New Zealand is a party into domestic law to ensure these rights are enforceable in New Zealand courts
  • Establish the NZBORA as over-riding ordinary statutes