Andrew Geddis: “Declarations of Inconsistency” under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

UK Constitutional Law Association

As in the United Kingdom, the question of whether prisoners should be permitted to vote has generated considerable constitutional interest for New Zealand. Largely that is due to the efforts of a long term prisoner and “jailhouse lawyer”, Arthur Taylor, who has mounted something of a one-man campaign against 2010 legislation that stripped the right to vote from all sentenced prisoners.

In Mr Taylor’s latest sortie, Attorney General v Taylor [2017] NZCA 215, the New Zealand Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision (Taylor v Attorney General [2015] NZHC 1706) to issue the following formal declaration:

Section 80(1)(d) of the Electoral Act 1993 (as amended by the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010) is inconsistent with the right to vote affirmed and guaranteed in s 12(a) of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and cannot be justified under s 5…

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Andrew Geddis: New Zealand’s Supreme Court Considers Prisoner Voting – Twice

UK Constitutional Law Association

New Zealand’s Supreme Court has twice in the past two months turned its attention to the vexed issue of prisoner voting. Its first decision, Attorney-General v Taylor, upheld by a 3-2 majority a declaration that the legislative ban on all sentenced prisoners voting is inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA). Its second decision, Ngaranoa v Attorney-General, found by a 4-1 majority that as this legislative ban did not amend any of the “reserved” provisions in the Electoral Act 1993, no question arose as to its validity. This post outlines each decision, before making some general comment on what they reveal about the Court’s approach to constitutional issues.

The background to the issue

In 2010, New Zealand’s Parliament passed a member’s bill in the name of a backbench MP from the then-governing National Party by a 63-58 vote margin. This Bill amended the Electoral…

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UN compact: Peters’ supporters fear he hasn’t put NZ First

Point of Order

Deputy PM Winston Peters has lit  a firestorm  in his own support base  over  the government’s decision to sign the controversial UN Migration Compact—a  move  National   says  it  will overturn.

NZ First’s  Facebook  page  went into overdrive as  one-time NZ  First voters voiced their anger.  After all, NZ  First  campaigned strongly   against  the previous  government’s  immigration policies  and  stood  out in demanding  stricter controls on  migration.

Now the party appears willing to  adopt the UN’s  rules on open, regular migration.

So  did  Peters  miscalculate?  In  Parliament   he had been using the UN compact to  bait  National,  because it  was the government  in 2016 when offering support as the compact was being initiated.

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Meat Loaf Anything for love grand gala du Disc 1993

Anti-science @NZGreens’ wishy washy choice policy sides with the anti-vaccination movement

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