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Parliamentary Bills of Rights
The Experiences of New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Part of Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law

  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107433700


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About the Authors
  • Both New Zealand and the United Kingdom challenge assumptions about how a bill of rights functions. Their parliamentary bills of rights constrain judicial review and also look to parliament to play a rights-protecting role. This arises from the requirement to inform parliament if legislative bills are not compatible with rights. But are these bills of rights operating in this proactive manner? Are governments encountering significantly stronger pressures to ensure legislation complies with rights? Are these bills of rights resulting in more reasoned deliberations in parliament about the justification of legislation from a rights perspective? Through extensive interviews with public officials and analysis of parliamentary debates where questions of compliance with rights arise (prisoner voting, parole and sentencing policy, counter-terrorism legislation, and same-sex marriage), this book argues that a serious gap exists between the promise of these bills of rights and the institutional variables that influence how these parliaments function.

    • Case studies of prominent legislative issues demonstrate how the New Zealand Bill of Rights and United Kingdom Human Rights Act influence the dynamics of Westminster-based parliamentary systems
    • Demonstrates the immense challenge associated with constitutional reforms intended to use a bill of rights as a means of altering the norms of legislative decision-making
    • Contributes to the growing body of scholarship that considers whether parliamentary systems such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom can accommodate judicial review of rights without compromising constitutional principles such as parliamentary supremacy
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107433700
    • length: 504 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 11 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990:
    2. Political origins of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act
    3. The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and MMP
    4. Parliamentary review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975
    5. Parliamentary select committees and Section 7 reports
    Part II. The United Kingdom's Human Rights Act 1998:
    6. Political origins of the Human Rights Act
    7. Pre-legislative compatibility assessments under the HRA
    8. Parliamentary review of national security issues
    9. Parliamentary review: equality and democratic issues
    10. Conclusion.

  • Authors

    Janet L. Hiebert, Queen's University, Ontario
    Janet L. Hiebert is a professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University, Ontario.

    James B. Kelly, Concordia University, Montréal
    James B. Kelly is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University, Montréal.

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