... or, rather, the fellow prisoners who joined his application to have the legislative ban on prisoners voting declared inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act win again.  

I'll write more on this later today, but seeing as I don't do social media and there may also be some of you out there in internet land who don't either ... this is a very important Court of Appeal case that changes New Zealand's constitution. If you are interested in law, public power and the role that the courts play vis-a-vis our Parliament, you need to read it.

[Update: promised longer post on the issue is now here.]

Comments (9)

by Graeme Edgeler on May 26, 2017
Graeme Edgeler

this is a very important Court of Appeal casethat changes New Zealand's constitution.

That's not how the common law works! When a judge declares the law, it has always been the law. Accordingly, this has been the law since 28 September 1990, when the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act entered into force :-)

by Andrew Geddis on May 26, 2017
Andrew Geddis

@Graeme, 

“Those with a taste for fairy tales seem to have thought that in some Aladdin’s cave there is hidden the Common Law in all its splendour and that on a judge’s appointment there descends on him knowledge of the magic words Open Sesame… But we do not believe in fairy tales anymore”

by Peter Grant on May 26, 2017
Peter Grant

It probably wont come as any suprise to you that there are many of us out here who do not partake in "Social Media", whatever that is, as we are too busy with Pundit , et all.

by Charlie on May 28, 2017
Charlie

Why do we have so many dud judges and poorly written laws in NZ?

The whole point of incarceration is to deprive the convict of some of their 'human rights', namely:

17 Freedom of Association

18 Freedom of Movement

Having gotten over this logical hurdle (eyes roll skyward) surely the judge could have made the mental leap to figure out that it's not at all unreasonable to remove their electoral rights too.

But no - it seems a set of blinkers comes with the wig and gown.

So now parliament needs to go back and insert "unless you're a convicted criminal" in those clauses to stop evangelist judges from playing fast & loose with the intention of the law.

sigh!

 

by Graeme Edgeler on May 28, 2017
Graeme Edgeler

So now parliament needs to go back and insert "unless you're a convicted criminal" in those clauses to stop evangelist judges from playing fast & loose with the intention of the law.

The intention of the law is that sentenced prisoners should not vote. Sentenced prisoners cannot vote.

by Charlie on May 28, 2017
Charlie

Thanks Graeme

 

 

by Andrew Geddis on May 29, 2017
Andrew Geddis

Having gotten over this logical hurdle (eyes roll skyward) surely the judge could have made the mental leap to figure out that it's not at all unreasonable to remove their electoral rights too.

It's not (just) the judges who said that depriving all prisoners of the right to vote is unreasonable. The Crown (i.e. the lawyers arguing the case for the Government) did not contest the claim that the law was unreasonable - it stood by the advice of the Attorney-General to Parliament to that effect when the law first was debated in the House.

So this case was really about what remedial steps the courts could take, not whether the law removing the rights of prisoners to vote actually is "unreasonable" (because both sides before the court conceded that point). And if you want to go back and review the arguments given for why that law should be passed, here you go.  

by Charlie on May 29, 2017
Charlie

....and that Andrew is what is known as 'an appeal to authority'.

 

 

by william blake on May 29, 2017
william blake

@Charlie, do you think convicted criminals should ever be allowed to vote again and are there other civil transgressions that, in your opinion, should prohibit someone from voting ie. being gay, black, being a woman or having a physical or intellectual disability?

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