Amnesty International is urging the Government to rethink its approach to passing the COVID-19 Response (Vaccination) Legislation Bill due to serious concerns about the lack of opportunity for public consultation and scrutiny. We have previously raised concerns about the lack of human rights scrutiny with the Government’s COVID-19 response, especially when introducing new legislation.
KW: Here we go. Now Amnesty International expresses concern over haisty legeslation being introduced on the completely duped New Zealand Public, not thinking and beleiveing the government is always rigtt. Its what happens in fascist/ communist dicatatorships.
Summary Of Tyranny In Action. Are You Awake Yet New Zealand?
Government passes legislation in less than 24 hours to seriously curb the freedoms of New Zealanders without conventional parliamentary scrutiny. https://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2021/0101/latest/whole.html
Traditionally (although not since Covid) legislation would pass through the House over the course of weeks or months, with public submissions on a bill and redrafting of portions being taken into account.
Opposition MPs, legal experts, and the Human Rights Commission all condemn the move as poor lawmaking.
Covid-19 Response Minister Hipkins says “in an ideal world” Parliament would fully scrutinise the legislation.
National Party’s Covid-19 response spokesman, MP Chris Bishop says the traffic light system and the bill behind it were developed “on the fly” and amounted to a shoddy “massive Government overreach”.
Dr Dean Knight, a Victoria University law professor, said “It is a constitutional disgrace that the legislation mandating this vaccination regime is being passed urgently this week”.
Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said anything less than robust scrutiny of the Government’s Covid-19 legislation was “highly problematic both constitutionally and in terms of the state’s human rights and Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations”.
The Government should commit to a full select committee inquiry into the law AFTER IT HAD PASSED, Hunt said.
The Ministry of Justice published its advice to Attorney-General David Parker on whether the Covid-19 legislation was consistent with the Bill of Rights Act, the law which protects the rights of New Zealanders. The advice had been prepared in “an extremely short time frame” with A PRIOR DRAFT of the bill, NOT the final version. However, the ministry’s lawyers had determined the proposed law was consistent with the Bill of Rights.
Amnesty International said “We are deeply concerned to see limited scrutiny on yet another piece of legislation with significant human rights implications”.
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