Some thoughts on the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 at its 20th Anniversary
The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BoRA) is having its “ups and downs”. After the hopeful start of being conceived as “superior law”, providing a yardstick against which the courts could strike down legislation that was inconsistent with our civil rights and freedoms, the BoRA was enacted as an ordinary law. It is, of course, widely recognised as a “super statute”; a statute setting standards that Parliament ought take note of when passing legislation. On the “down swing” again, it appears that this ideal is loosing ground as Parliament legislates further limitations on the rights in the BoRA, by way of subsequent legislation.