ARTICLE: A CASE FOR INCLUDING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS IN THE NEW ZEALAND BILL OF RIGHTS ACT 1990 Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2012 Victoria University of Wellington
Victoria University of Wellington Law Review

ARTICLE: A CASE FOR INCLUDING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS IN THE NEW ZEALAND BILL OF RIGHTS ACT 1990

September, 2012

Victoria University of Wellington Law Review

43 VUWLR 471

Author

Joss Opie *

Excerpt

I INTRODUCTION

When the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA) was enacted, economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) were intentionally omitted from it. As a result, New Zealand domestic law does not recognise ESCR as freestanding, justiciable rights, and they have an unequal legal status to the civil and political rights (CPR) affirmed in the NZBORA. In this article, I argue that there is a need for greater legal protection for ESCR in New Zealand, and that the reasons which have been offered for denying ESCR an equal status to CPR are unconvincing. Accordingly, these rights should be incorporated into the NZBORA. 1

For the purposes of this article, I define ESCR as the rights and corresponding obligations in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR or the Covenant). 2 These rights and obligations are binding on New Zealand under international law, as it is a State party to the Covenant. 3

In Part II, I briefly summarise the principal ESCR. In Part III, I set out the reasons that ESCR were left out of the NZBORA and describe the differences in the domestic legal status of CPR and ESCR as a result of this omission. In Parts IV and V, I argue that the omission is significant, with reference to the regressive effects the social and economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s had on people's enjoyment of ESCR, and the lack of any real ability to test the policies implemented as ...
 
 
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