Amicus Curiae: The Rise of Neo-Nazism

By Hart Reynolds If you’re surprised then you aren’t paying attention. On Saturday August 12th violence erupted between protestors and counter-protestors over the removal of a statue of a Confederate general. During the clash, a Nazi sympathiser deliberately drove into a crowd, leading to the death of one woman. Shock and horror echoed across the globe in response to the …

Amicus Curiae: Jacinda Ardern and the Children Question

BY HANNAH YANG Within 24 hours of Jacinda Ardern’s appointment as the new leader of the Labour Party, the question has arisen as to whether it is appropriate for employers to ask women whether they intend to have children. Discussion emerged after comments were made by AM Show presenter Mark Richardson during an interview with Ms Ardern, with the former …

Amicus Curiae: The Ninth Floor: Reflections on Former New Zealand Prime Ministers

BY JAMES ADAMS In less than two months, New Zealand will be having a General Election, and New Zealanders will decide who will lead our country for the next three years. Here, as elsewhere, the cacophony of sound-bites can make it hard to understand exactly what it is like to be Prime Minister. How easy is it to effect change? …

Amicus Curiae: The New Ministry for Vulnerable Children is Not Exempt From Criticism

BY ALEX SIMS On the 31st March, the official implementation of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, (Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry), took place, replacing Child, Youth and Family (CYFs). The Minister for Children, Anne Tolley, welcomed the new Ministry stating that it “puts children and young people’s safety and wellbeing first”. Anne Tolley claims that the new Ministry is the …

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 …

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 …

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 …