New Zealand is not immune from international trends and cannot afford to be complacent about its democracy, writes Sir Geoffrey Palmer
Continue reading Democracy is in decline: what can we do?
New Zealand’s political culture needs to change, starting with civics education that shows young New Zealanders the difference they can make, writes Peter McKenzie.
Continue reading Why a constitution alone is not enough
Would the Constitution Aotearoa NZ proposals just create a United States-style system, where Supreme Court judges decide everything that is important? The answer is no, according to Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Why our proposals won’t create a US-style constitution
New Zealand’s system of checks and balances on state power is sadly insufficient, write Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Strengthening checks and balances on state power
New Zealand passes too much law, too quickly, and the Government has too much control of Parliament, argue Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler.
Continue reading NZ’s habit of big, bad law
Granting judges a right to invalidate legislation will strengthen the rule of law while leaving lawmaking power in Parliament’s hands, argue Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Why judicial oversight is nothing to fear
Parliament – not the Government – should decide when New Zealand can sign up to binding international treaties, declare war, and send troops overseas, says Sir Geoffrey Palmer
Continue reading Should Parliament decide about international treaties and defence missions?
Parliament’s rules allow the Government to determine who becomes Parliament’s Speaker. Sir Geoffrey Palmer makes the case for a politically neutral process.
Continue reading The case for a politically neutral Speaker of Parliament
A four-year term, along with other constitutional reforms, would help Parliament to function better and improve the quality of lawmaking, argue Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Why we favour a four-year term
There’s no evidence that a four-year Parliamentary term would lead to better legislation, argues Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler. And nor is there evidence that the current three-year term prevents Parliament from completing major law reform projects.
Continue reading Four-year term better in theory than practice
A four-year Parliamentary term won’t on its own improve the quality of New Zealand legislation, argues Professor Margaret Wilson. What’s needed are broader reforms to protect citizens’ rights and change Parliament’s adversarial culture.
Continue reading A four-year term: would it make a difference?
In 2013 Parliament passed law under urgency allowing it to discriminate against people who care for disabled family members. Angela Hart gives a parent’s perspective.
Continue reading What’s fair for families who care?
The discriminatory nature of New Zealand’s adoption laws shows the importance of constitutional protection for human rights, says Wellington lawyer Joss Opie
Continue reading Adoption laws and the case for a written constitution
The Bill of Rights should be included in a written constitution to ensure Parliament cannot legislate away human rights, argue Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Why the Bill of Rights Act should be in NZ’s constitution
Is it okay for Parliament to limit human rights without bothering to consult the people affected?
Continue reading When Parliament sets aside your rights
In 2013, many New Zealanders asked an independent constitutional review panel for stronger protection of their human rights, and the panel recommended change. Three years later, the United Nations made similar recommendation. When will New Zealand act?
Continue reading When will Parliament strengthen the Bill of Rights Act?
History shows that an Upper House is unlikely to provide an effective check on government power, write Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Why we don’t support an upper house
It’s time for New Zealand to have a constitution that is accessible and clear, say Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler.
Continue reading Why New Zealand needs a written constitution
Many New Zealanders don’t know the country has a constitution, let alone know what’s it in. That has to change, says Sam Bookman.
Continue reading A constitution all New Zealanders can understand