Legislative Standards Act Policy
New Zealand’s Parliament has the power to make any legislation governing our country, regardless of any conflict with previous legislation. Such conflicts arise with regularity and include conflicts with the New Zealand Bill of Rights, the Bill of Rights 1688, and the Magna Carta.
This has given rise to laws that breach individual or community rights without any recourse to New Zealanders other than repeal by Parliament, as the New Zealand Courts have already ruled that Parliament is supreme. In effect, any government has absolute power over New Zealand. The opportunity and temptation for abuse by any government is immense.
What is lacking is the requirement for legislation and regulation to meet standards that ensure that individual and community freedoms and rights cannot be overridden. We propose ensuring two declarations that are already part of the legislative framework in New Zealand, be rendered inviolate. The Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1688 enshrine individual and community rights and are New Zealand legislation that is routinely ignored by our Parliament.
New Conservative will introduce and pass a Bill entitled the “Legislation and Regulation Standards Act” that:
- Acknowledges that two documents, the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1688 are fundamental declarations that form the basis of New Zealand law (“Declarations”).
- Any New Zealand citizen can make an application to the Supreme Court of New Zealand to review any New Zealand legislation or regulation.
- The Supreme Court must then review the relevant legislation or regulation to determine if the legislation or regulation is in conflict with the Declarations.
- If the legislation or regulation is found by the Supreme Court to be in conflict with any of the Declarations, the Supreme Court must rule that such legislation or regulation is null and void.
- The Supreme Court cannot amend such legislation or regulation, it can only make it null and void.
- Parliament may then amend any such new or existing legislation found to be null and void by the Supreme Court so that it does not breach any term of the Declarations.
- If parliament subsequently does amend such new or existing legislation that has been found to be null and void by the Supreme Court, it may be reviewed again by the Supreme Court upon application by any New Zealand citizen.
- Any amendment to, or repeal of, the “Legislation and Regulation Standards Act” or the Declarations may only be made by unanimous vote of sitting MPs and ratified via referendum.