New Zealand Bill of Rights Act
1990 No 109
An Act— (a) To affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand; and (b) To affirm New Zealand's commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [28 August 1990]
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of New Zealand as follows:
- 1 Short Title and commencement
- 2 PART I: GENERAL PROVISIONS
- 3 PART II: CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
- 3.1 Life and Security of the Person
- 3.2 Democratic and Civil Rights
- 3.3 Non-Discrimination and Minority Rights
- 3.4 Search, Arrest, and Detention
- 4 PART III: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Short Title and commencement
1. Short Title and commencement-
PART I: GENERAL PROVISIONS
2. Rights affirmed-
The rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights are affirmed.
This Bill of Rights applies only to acts done-
4. Other enactments not affected-
No court shall, in relation to any enactment (whether passed or made before or after the commencement of this Bill of Rights),-
by reason only that the provision is inconsistent with any provision of this Bill of Rights.
5. Justified limitations-
Subject to section 4 of this Bill of Rights, the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights may be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
6. Interpretation consistent with Bill of Rights to be preferred-
Wherever an enactment can be given a meaning that is consistent with the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights, that meaning shall be preferred to any other meaning.
7. Attorney-General to report to Parliament where Bill appears to be inconsistent with Bill of Rights-
Where any Bill is introduced into the House of Representatives, the Attorney-General shall,-
bring to the attention of the House of Representatives any provision in the Bill that appears to be inconsistent with any of the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights.
PART II: CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
Life and Security of the Person
8. Right not to be deprived of life-
No one shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.
9. Right not to be subjected to torture or cruel treatment-
Everyone has the right not to be subjected to torture or to cruel, degrading, or disproportionately severe treatment or punishment.
10. Right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation-
Every person has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without that person's consent.
11. Right to refuse to undergo medical treatment-
Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.
Democratic and Civil Rights
12. Electoral rights-
Every New Zealand citizen who is of or over the age of 18 years---
13. Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.
14. Freedom of expression
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.
15. Manifestation of religion and belief
Every person has the right to manifest that person's religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private.
16. Freedom of peaceful assembly
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
17. Freedom of association
Everyone has the right to freedom of association.
18. Freedom of movement
Non-Discrimination and Minority Rights
19. Freedom from discrimination
Original version (enactment to 31 January 1994):
Current version (from 1 February 1994):
20. Rights of minorities
A person who belongs to an ethnic, religious, or linguistic minority in New Zealand shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of that minority, to enjoy the culture, to profess and practise the religion, or to use the language, of that minority.
Search, Arrest, and Detention
21. Unreasonable search and seizure
Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence or otherwise.
22. Liberty of the person
Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained.
23. Rights of persons arrested or detained
for any offence or suspected offence shall have the right to refrain from making any statement and to be informed of that right.
24. Rights of persons charged
Everyone who is charged with an offence-
25. Minimum standards of criminal procedure
Everyone who is charged with an offence has, in relation to the determination of the charge, the following minimum rights:
26. Retroactive penalties and double jeopardy
27. Right to justice
PART III: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
28. Other rights and freedoms not affected
An existing right or freedom shall not be held to be abrogated or restricted by reason only that the right or freedom is not included in this Bill of Rights or is included only in part.
29. Application to legal persons
Except where the provisions of this Bill of Rights otherwise provide, the provisions of this Bill of Rights apply, so far as practicable, for the benefit of all legal persons as well as for the benefit of all natural persons.