I have advocated for some time that the requirement for the Attorney-General to advise the House if a bill breaches the Bill of Rights, should be expanded so that such opinions are not just given for first readings, but also at second and third readings.
Keith Locke has a bill, which will do effectively that and more. I hope it gets drawn and referred to a select committee. The PR says:
It will require all legislation to be checked for consistency with the Bill of Rights, and it will enable Courts to send a report to Parliament where legislation is inconsistent with the Act. The Government will be obliged to respond to such reports.
“The bill will help protect our rights, by making it harder for a government to ignore conflicts between its legislation and the Bill of Rights Act,” said Mr Locke, Green party human rights spokesperson.
“My bill requires vetting of legislation for consistency with the Bill of Rights at all stages of the parliamentary process.
There is one aspect I am not sure about:
The bill also entrenches the Bill of Rights Act, by requiring a 75% majority of the House to change it.
It should only be entrenched if 75% of Parliament vote for it to be so. A basic majority should not be able to require a super-majority to over-turn it.Tags: Bill of Rights Act, Keith Locke