Amicus Curiae: Keeping a Check on Parliament: the Decision of Attorney-General v Taylor

BY ANUJA MITRA In New Zealand, Parliament is supreme. Technically, this means that it can pass even the most rights-abridging legislation without backlash — or can it? The decision this year of Attorney-General v Taylor confirmed that where a court finds that an Act of Parliament contravenes a fundamental right in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA), …

Amicus Curiae: Letting the Few Decide for the Many: The Latest Euthanasia Bill

BY JASPER LAU The current euthanasia debate in New Zealand began in 2015, following Lecretia Seales’ public plight to clarify the state of New Zealand’s law on euthanasia after her brain tumour became terminal. Lecretia applied to the High Court to ask whether she had the option of having a doctor’s help to die if her suffering became intolerable. In …

Amicus Curiae: Double Trouble? The Risk of Private Prosecutions

BY CHRIS RYAN Private prosecutions are a rare feature of New Zealand’s criminal justice system. Private prosecutions are prosecutions started by private individuals, rather than the police or other prosecuting authorities. However, a Court decision in March 2016 has the potential to support an increased number of private prosecutions. The Court of Appeal upheld Tamsin Trainor’s private prosecution against Neihana …

Cross-Examination: The Universal Basic Income – A Step on the Road to Serfdom?

BY JASPER LAU In the past couple of years in New Zealand, there has been growing calls for the introduction of a form of universal basic income to be implemented in New Zealand. With a study conducted by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand finding that up to 46% of current New Zealand jobs (885,000) are at a risk of …

Amicus Curiae: Police, Anti-Depressants, and Mental Health – Have We Missed the Point?

By Sabrina Sachs Controversy has been swirling around recent police policy not to allow new recruits based on their use of anti-depressant medication. Are people on anti-depressants stable enough to be on the police force? Is it unethical to exclude these people from serving? Some will argue that to allow people on these types of medication serve on the police …

Exclusive Interview with Gareth Hughes on the Green Party’s Public Journalism Fund Proposal

Claudia Russell discusses solutions with Gareth Hughes and explores the Green Party’s latest proposal. Journalism in New Zealand is becoming an industry marked by desperation. News headlines are growing increasingly trivial, and ‘fake news’ has become the phrase of the year. In a changing industry increasingly dominated by global giants such as Google and Facebook, our media organizations are struggling …

Cross-Examination: Motels Replacing State Homes?

BY SABRINA SACHS Housing has reached crisis point in this country. New Zealand and its people stand at a crossroads; do we continue business as usual (with a few minor adjustments), or do we take a stand against the blatant disregard for our rights to shelter and housing? The situation is one where housing prices are increasingly rising, wages are …

Amicus Curiae: Blind Justice: Does Morality Have a Role in Law?

BY ALEX CRANSTOUN When I think of the law, Lady Justice comes to mind, tall, foreboding and blind to the differences of those brought before her. Equality before the law is a staple of legal systems in the Western world. But is that really what we want? Do we want a regimented formula applied to every person who commits the …

EJP Access Neurodisability and Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Approximately one in four New Zealanders are limited by a physical, sensory, learning mental health or other impairment. People affected by neurodisabilities are placed in an extremely vulnerable situation when they come into contact with the justice system. As a result, neurodisability has become a complex issue for New Zealand’s criminal justice system, and is an issue of growing concern due …