Chapter 4
The relationship with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act


4.1Some rights and freedoms are of such fundamental importance to New Zealand that they have been given statutory recognition in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA), and are subject only to such reasonable limits as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.89 New Zealand recognises that some of these rights and freedoms should apply generally, while others apply specifically to persons arrested or detained, or charged with an offence.90 In addition to NZBORA, New Zealand has also affirmed some of the rights it views as being of fundamental importance in international treaties and conventions.91 Accordingly, any framework that allows for the New Zealand government to provide assistance to a foreign government in the investigation, prosecution and punishment of crime must have some mechanisms to protect the rights of individuals in New Zealand who would be affected.

4.2This chapter discusses how our proposals for the New Zealand procedures in the new Extradition Bill and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and for Recovery of Criminal Proceeds Bill (Mutual Assistance Bill) are consistent with New Zealand’s human rights obligations.

4.3Another major point of recognition for New Zealand’s human rights obligations comes in the assessment that the Central Authority, the courts and, in limited cases, the Minister undertakes when considering the grounds for refusal. These important matters are dealt with in Chapter 5, and in the commentary to the grounds for refusal clauses in both Bills.

89New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, s 5.
90New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, ss 24–25.
91See for example International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 999 UNTS 171 (opened for signature 16 December 1966, entered into force 23 March 1976); and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1465 UNTS 85 (opened for signature 10 December 1984, entered into force 26 June 1987).