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Natural Justice in Employment

NZ $30.00
Andrew Scott-Howman 2015
Andrew Scott-Howman

This book is only available in PDF format

Author: Andrew Scott-Howman
Published: 26 April 2016
Pages: 20


The concepts which underpin natural justice are said to have originated in Roman systems of law. They are often regarded as being so basic that they should be self-evident to any person with an inherent sense of fairness.

Most lawyers are aware that the principles of natural justice apply to any tribunal or public authority with decision making power (and indeed this is expressly provided by s 27 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990). Most practitoners do not, however, necessarily have an intimate knowledge of the rules and their application.

Moreover, the suggestion that parties to the employment relationship must comply with rules of natural justice may come as a surprise to many who practise in the area. Employment lawyers should, however, be versed in the area of natural justice – and, more importantly, be in a position to advise parties to an employment relationship on their application.

The purpose of this paper is to:
  • Provide an examination of the prinicples of natural justice;
  • Explain how, and when, these principles apply in employment law; and
  • Give a practical guide to their application.

Content outline

  • A broad overview: what is natural justice?
    • “Procedural fairness”
    • What does natural justice mean in a workplace setting?
  • The first key obligation: freedom from bias
  • The second key obligation: the duty to hear from both sides
    • Obtaining the respondent’s response
    • Might there be a need to make further enquiries?
  • The investigator’s report
    • Need a draft decision go to the parties and/or employer?
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