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Human Rights & Privacy Committee

The Human Rights and Privacy Committee monitors compliance with domestic and international human rights standards and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, and makes submissions on human rights and privacy issues.

About Us

The Human Rights and Privacy Committee (HRPC) was initially established as a sub-committee to the Law Society LAWASIA IBA committee, and its principal concern was monitoring human rights issues affecting lawyers (and their clients) and judges.

The sub-committee became the Law Society Human Rights Committee in 1998 and its role was expanded to include privacy matters in 2010.

Our People

Victoria Casey QC has worked in law firms in New Zealand and Australia and in the Crown Law Office, including as Deputy Team Leader in the Human Rights Team. Victoria joined the independent bar in 2012 and took silk in 2016. She has a broad civil litigation practice with a particular focus on public law. Her areas of practice include regulatory and competition litigation, administrative law and judicial review, human rights, health and safety, environmental law, extradition, negligence, inquests, inquiries and Crown liability.

Victoria is ably supported by the members of the HRPC:

  • Peter Barnett
  • Andrew Butler
  • Katrine Evans
  • Catherine Fleming
  • Honor Ford
  • Juliet Philpott
  • Greg Robins

Secretary: Angela Williams, Law Society Secretariat
DX SP20202 or PO Box 5041, Wellington 6145
04 463 7837 ext 943
angela.williams@lawsociety.org.nz

Recent Work

The HRPC is an extremely busy committee. In the past 18 months, it has contributed to NZLS submissions on a range of human rights and Bill of Rights concerns raised in proposed legislation, including the:

  • Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill,
  • Social Security (Stopping Benefit Payments for Offenders Who Repeatedly Fail to Comply with Community Sentences) Amendment Bill,
  • Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill,
  • Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill,
  • New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill, and
  • Domestic Violence–Victims’ Protection Bill.

In addition, the committee commented on Human rights and the Mental Health Act (a Ministry of Health discussion document).

The HRPC also contributed to numerous NZLS submissions on privacy and information-sharing, including the:

  • Domain Name Commission review of information searches of the .nz register,
  • Enhancing Identity Verification and Border Processes Legislation Bill,
  • Customs and Excise Bill,
  • Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill,
  • Search & Surveillance Act 2012 review, and
  • proposed information-sharing agreements relating to the Gang Intelligence Centre, and Court Information.

The committee also made a further Shadow report to the United Nations on New Zealand’s 6th periodic review under ICCPR (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

Committee appointments

Appointments are made to this committee biennially. If you have a passion for law reform, skills, interest and expertise in human rights and privacy law and the time and energy to commit, then get involved.

Membership of this committee allows you to play an important role in human rights and privacy law reform and is an excellent basis for professional development as well as collegiality and networking.

Additionally, substantive contribution to NZLS law reform may count towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Applications for the 2017 appointment round have closed. The next appointment round will be in 2019.

Last updated on the 5th September 2017