Monday, December 22, 2008

Still no BORA-assessments

It's been more than a week since the government passed the Bail Amendment Bill and Sentencing (Offences Against Children) Amendment Bill - both laws with potentially serious human rights implications. But the Ministry of Justice still has not published the assessments of their consistency with the Bill of Rights Act. Oh, they've gone as far as adding them to the list - but the links point to blank pages.

Hopefully they'll correct this soon. But in the meantime its just another symptom of their unseemly rush to legislate and their contempt for the normal Parliamentary process. Like the bills themselves, these assessments should have been available before the debate, so that Parliament would know what it was voting for. Instead, they're buried and released too late to have any effect.

Update: And now they're up. Neither raises any inconsistency (which is what you'd expect), but I am surprised that the assessment of the Bail Amendment Bill doesn't raise the court cases that led to the law being amended in the first place, and which may undercut its rhetorical effect...