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 …

Amicus Curiae: No Way to Minimum Wage? The Case for a Living Wage in New Zealand

By Haya Khan It’s safe to say employment options are limited for a university student. Adjusting a part time job into a hectic university schedule, exams, socialising and mandatory Netflix weekend binge-watching can take a toll on work ethic and mental health. So, for all the effort a full-time university student puts into their part time job, is minimum wage truly …

Amicus Curiae: A Labour of Love – Is That Enough For Care Workers?

BY JANNA TAY Last month, the government announced a $2 billion package in settlement of the largest pay equity deal in New Zealand history. Around 55,000 care workers in aged residential care and disability support services will receive pay rises of between 15 to 49 per cent over the next five years. And it is historic not only for the …

Amicus Curiae: Ministry of Social Development, or Big Brother?

BY CLAUDIA RUSSELL Privacy concerns over the Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD) new ‘data-for-funding’ policy were the subject of an urgent Parliamentary debate earlier this month. MSD’s somewhat unpolished approach in creating the policy has caused people to question how much the Ministry respects the privacy of our country’s most vulnerable people. Admittedly, the controversy is difficult to understand at …