INDEPENDENT NEWS

HRC Submission on Human Rights Amendment Bill

Published: Thu 11 Oct 2001 11:21 AM
Human Rights Commission Information Release – 10/10/01
HRC Submission on Human Rights Amendment Bill
The Human Rights Commission presented its submission on the Human Rights Amendment Bill to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee today.
The submission notes the positive changes proposed in the Bill which are intended to strengthen the human rights framework of New Zealand. These are the:
- Extension of government accountability
- Creation of a new remedy for the Human Rights Tribunal
- Identification of two primary functions for the Commission
- Merging of the Commission and the Race Relations Office
- Inclusion of a duty for the Commission to act independently
- Statutory requirement for the development of a National Plan of Action for Human Rights
- Streamlining of dispute resolution processes
The Commission’s submission covers the following issues:
- Functions and powers of the Commission
- Organisation of the Commission
- The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act standard
- Resolution of complaints
- Technical amendments to the Bill
- Amendments to other Statutes
- Consistency with the UN Paris Principles
Provisions of the Bill which the Commission considers require further strengthening and / or clarifying are covered in the submission. They relate to issues to do with:
- The Director of Human Rights Proceedings and litigation
- Desirability of power to require mediation
- The power to require the production of documents and giving of evidence
- The scope of the New Zealand Bill of Rights standard
- The extent of the Commissioners’ authority
The Commission has been asked to meet the Select Committee again next week in Wellington.
If you are interested in further information and / or in seeing the Commission’s submission on the Human Rights Amendment Bill, please contact Miriam Bell, Human Rights Commission Communications Officer, on 09 3758627 or 025 313 239.

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