INDEPENDENT NEWS

Zaoui law change must not be rushed

Published: Tue 14 Dec 2004 12:30 AM
14 December 2004
Zaoui law change must not be rushed
Green MP Keith Locke is strongly opposed to any attempt to rush through changes to the Security Risk Certificate procedure in the Immigration Act.
"The application of the Security Risk Certificate to Ahmed Zaoui has resulted in so many violations to his human rights that any law change can only follow a wide process of public consultation that absorbs all the lessons of his case," said Mr Locke, the Green Party's Human Rights Spokesperson.
"Mr Zaoui's release from prison could be an opportunity for the Government to reflect on the last two years and change direction towards a more just and humane national security and immigration system, but instead it is trying to find a quicker and more efficient route to the same unjust outcome.
"Clearly a rushed law change would be dangerous while the Government continues to deny its failure to give Mr Zaoui due process, the chance to see evidence against him or the right to bail.
"Ominously, the Prime Minister now wants to take away the bail option in obvious contravention to the centuries-old principle of habeas corpus. Hasn't she any shame after unjustly keeping an Algerian democrat in jail for two years without charge?
"On top of this, the Government is persisting with an appeal to the Supreme Court to stop Mr Zaoui's human rights applying in the Security Risk Certificate review process.
"Altogether, this is a dangerous push to expand Executive power at the expense of long-standing judicial oversight in security matters. This will undermine the civil liberties of us all.
"The Green Party wants the Security Risk Certificate section of the Immigration Act to be repealed. New Zealand coped perfectly well without it prior to its implementation in 1999 and there is still no compelling reason why regular, apolitical criminal law cannot deal with terrorism.
"The Security Risk Certificate wrongly gives the Immigration Minister the power to determine the fate of a refugee like Mr Zaoui, thereby bringing into play a government's political agenda, such as keeping on side with 'like-minded countries', to use the words in the SIS's summary of allegations against Mr Zaoui.
"There is no problem with national security issues being dealt with by the judiciary or quasi-judicial bodies like the Refugee Status Appeals Authority. They can hear sensitive information in confidence, if necessary, as happens in some overseas jurisdictions," said Mr Locke.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Speech From The Throne
By: New Zealand Government
Law Commission Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations
By: Law Commission
New Zealand Government To Declare A Climate Emergency
By: New Zealand Government
Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team
By: Green Party
NZ Govt Considers Making House Prices Part Of RBNZ Mandate
By: XE Money Transfer
Green Party Respond To Government Review Of Housing Settings
By: Green Party
Rewriting The Rulebook On DNA In Criminal Investigations – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Government To Consider Recommendations On DNA Use In Criminal Investigations
By: New Zealand Government
Climate Change An Economic Issue; Critical For The Planet’s Future
By: Make Lemonade
Climate Emergency Declaration A Win But Needs Action
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
Declaration Of ‘Symbolic’ Climate Emergency
By: Extinction Rebellion
Minimum Wage Hike Isn’t What The Economy Needs
By: New Zealand National Party
Why Not $50 An Hour?
By: ACT New Zealand
Greens Commit To Ensuring Strong Oceans Protection This Term
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media