The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 protects the civil and political rights of all New Zealanders.

The Act covers the following categories of rights and freedoms:

  • Life and security of the person
  • Democratic and civil rights
  • Non-discrimination and minority rights
  • Search, arrest and detention
  • Criminal procedure, and
  • The right to justice.

All bills (proposed laws) are checked for consistency with the Bill of Rights Act before they are introduced into Parliament. If there is an inconsistency, the Attorney-General must inform Parliament. While this does not prevent Parliament passing inconsistent laws, it does ensure that any issues are known and discussed.

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