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Privacy and Human Rights Act Proceedings

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Simon Judd 2017 Robert Kee 2017
Simon Judd
Robert Kee
Director, Office of Human Rights Proceedings

Authors: Simon Judd, Robert Kee
Published: 4 October 2017


The Human Rights Review Tribunal’s (Tribunal) jurisdiction extends to three distinct areas
of human rights law: unlawful discrimination under Part 4 of the Human Rights Act 1993 (HRA), interference with privacy under Part 8 of the Privacy Act 1993 (Privacy Act), and breaches of the health and disability services consumer code under Part 4 of the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. This webinar addresses bringing proceedings in the first and second areas just mentioned.

So, what we are concerned with here is breaches of equality rights or personal privacy
rights, and how they may be litigated in the Tribunal.

The Tribunal, although a creature of statute, has remarkably broad powers, which include the extraordinary ability to declare an Act of Parliament to be inconsistent with the right to freedom from discrimination under s 19 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA).1 Its initial monetary jurisdiction equates with the District Court,2 but again, it can remit remedies determinations to the High Court, in which case damages are not limited. 3  (Continued...)

1 Section 92J of the Human Rights Act 1993 (HRA). If such declaration is made, under s 92K of the HRA the responsible
Minister must report the fact of the declaration to Parliament, and the Government’s response to it. Declarations have
been made in: Adoption Action Inc v Attorney-General [2016] NZHRRT 9; Heads v Attorney-General [2015]
NZHRRT 12; and Howard v Attorney-General (2008) 8 HRNZ 378.
2 Section 92Q of the HRA.
3 Section 92R of the HRA.

Content outline

  • The Human Rights Act 1993
  • The Privacy Act 1993
  • Pre-Hearing Procedure
  • Hearings in the Tribunal
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