Law & Order - UN Youth NZ

Law & Order - UN Youth NZ

Law & Order Law & Order covers issues relating to corrections, courts, police, legislative issues and legal rights. We have broken down some of the cr...

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Law & Order Law & Order covers issues relating to corrections, courts, police, legislative issues and legal rights. We have broken down some of the critical areas of law in New Zealand for you to explore and discuss. While preparing possible policy statements also consider potential solutions to these issues.

Tikanga Māori Tikanga, along with Te Tiriti/ the Treaty, are acknowledged in aspects of law through incorporation into legislation, as well as through Rangatahi Youth Courts and the Waitangi Tribunal. Although many believe Tikanga to be only pre-colonial custom, many Maori assert its importance today. Incorporation of Tikanga on a larger scale and even possibly in the form of a separate legal system has been suggested by leading Maori academics to address the incompatibility of the system with Maori community responsibility. Critics of this consider this divisive and assert a ‘One Law for All’ approach. Aotearoa has had three UN Special Rapporteur reports on the situation of Maori, all of which have been critical of their lack of customary legal rights.

Balancing Rights and Public Interests The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA) highlights and protects some of the most important rights that individuals in New Zealand have. However, NZBORA is not entrenched, which means that Parliament can legislate against it where they feel there is an overriding public interest. NZBORA has also been the subject of debate recently due to the 2015 case of Seales v AG . The High Court in Wellington delivered judgment against Lecretia Seales, who claimed her rights were being violated by being denied the choice to end her life as a sufferer of a debilitating and terminal cancer.

Sentencing, Incarceration, and Rehabilitation New Zealand has an extremely high incarceration rate at around 205 prisoners per 100,000 people, of which 33.5% are between 20-29 years of age, and over 50% identifying as Maori. Within our prisons, around two-thirds of prisoners have substance abuse problems and approximately 50% of crimes are committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Concerningly, 49% of released prisoners are convicted of a new offence and imprisoned at least once during the 48 month follow-up period. Corrections and a number of community organisations run various rehabilitation programmes, but so far the results have fluctuated in reducing offending rates. Since 2010, New Zealand has operated a ‘Three Strikes' approach to serious reoffending, increasing penalties for repeat offenders. This has been criticised for undermining the principle that ‘the punishment must fit the crime,' and suggests that current legislative penalties do not work well enough to deter crime in the first place.

Law & Order Briefing Paper Aotearoa Youth Declaration

Below are some links to aid in your research. You are free to consider further topics that you feel are important to Law and Order for discussion. Below are a number of helpful starting points on each topic. •

Law Commission: Māori Custom and Values in New Zealand Law

Māori Law Review: Rangatahi Courts of New Zealand

Lecretia Seales v Attorney General (Judgment)

Sir Geoffrey Palmer on NZ Bill of Rights Act

Law Society: Three Strikes - Five Years On

If you have any questions before the conference, please do not hesitate to send us through an email. We are so excited to meet you all!

Riana and Lisa [email protected]

Law & Order Briefing Paper Aotearoa Youth Declaration