July 2019 e-bulletin

Read an overview of the content in our latest e-bulletin. Click the download button to read the entire e-bulletin with links to cases and other news items.

National update: policy and legislation

Crimes Amendment Bill

The Bill repeals certain provisions in the Crimes Act 1961 including section 71(2) which protects spouses and civil union partners in cases where they would otherwise be an accessory after the fact to an offence and section 123 which repeals the offence of blasphemous libel.

Criminal Cases Review Commission

A bill to establish an independent body to investigate wrongful conviction or sentencing that has occurred in the justice system was proposed in October last year. 

Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill

This Bill was deferred to deal with problems caused during the Select Committee process. The Bill was introduced by the previous Government and made a number of minor changes to allow improvements to Births, Deaths and Marriage Services.

Evidence Act

The Law Commission concluded the Act is generally working well but some improvements are necessary and desirable and it makes 27 recommendations for reform.

End of Life Choice Bill

The Justice Committee has reported back on certain recommendations but was unable to agree that the Bill be passed leaving it to the House to resolve the broader policy matters.

Privacy Act 1993

The Justice Committee has reported to repeal and replace this Bill. While the proposed Bill would keep the principles-based framework of the Act, it will update the law to reflect the needs of the digital age. It will also insert a new clause (114A) to provide the Human Rights Review Tribunal with an express power to close proceedings when necessary to hear and determine an access complaint.

Equal Pay Amendment Bill

The aim of the legislation is to improve the process for employees to raise, progress and resolve pay equity claims. It will do this by establishing a bargaining process for pay equity while still largely retaining the existing processes for equal pay and unlawful discrimination claims.

Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill

With its first reading on 4 April, the Bill is designed to resolve the concerns of victims of an offender who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. The victims of such offenders arguably do not receive the same rights as the victims of an offender who is found guilty.

Freedom to Speak Bill

A Bill proposed by the ACT party to protect free spech. It would repeal two parts of the Human Rights Act on racial disharmony aimed at preventing 'abusive' or 'insulting' comment and calls for the abolition of the Human Rights Commission.

International update

Commission on the Status of Women

The sixty-third session took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 11 to 22 March 2019. The Minister for Women, Julie-Anne Genter, attended on New Zealand’s behalf.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

New Zealand’s examination of its compliance with the convention will be heard by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee in September / October. The Government has written a report in answer to the questions asked by the Committee following the last examination in 2018.

United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)

The EMRIP undertook a country engagement mission to New Zealand from 8 to 13 April 2019. The purpose of the mission was to provide advice on on the development of a National Plan of Action or other measure to achieve the ends of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in New Zealand.

International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Protocol on Forced Labour

The government has announced that New Zealand will ratify this protocol and supporting work by the ILO to end violence and harassment at work.



Recent cases

Diane Dele Moody v Shane Chamberlain [2019] NZEmp C 16

A case concerning the right to fair terms of employment.

C v L [2019] NZHC 485

A case concerning the right to freedom of movement.

New Zealand Police v Gary Thomas Chiles and Adrian James Leason [2019] NZDC 3860

A case concerning the right to protest.

Nevin v Benefits Review Committee [2019] NZSSAA 13

A case concerning the right to be free from discrimination on the ground of disability.

Kim v Minister of Justice of New Zealand [2019] NZCA 209

A case concerning the right to a fair trial.