Jackson J Wood in response the the National government passing legislation to legitimise criminal activity, committed by government departments, against New Zealand citizens, including the Search and Surveillance Act, and the Bill regarding caregivers of the disabled.
"How, you might ask, could you create a family care policy that does not risk later being overturned by the courts? The obvious answer would seem to be to make sure that the policy is not unlawfully discriminatory.
But the Government thinks there is a far, far better way to respond. In the legislation it had Parliament enact, it simply told the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the courts that they are not allowed to look at the Government's family care policy and decide whether or not it is unlawfully discriminatory.
You may need another moment to let the implications of this sink in. This legislation tells the judicial branch it is not allowed to look at the Government's decisions now and in the future as to who will be paid to see whether these unlawfully breach the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
In other words, the judiciary's primary function _ to declare the meaning of law and its application in particular cases _ has been nullified. Furthermore, the judiciary's role as protector of individual citizens in terms of ensuring that they are being treated in accordance with the laws of the land has been removed.
While the stakes may be small in the immediate case, this is about as big a deal as it gets in terms of our constitution.
For what has happened here is, as far as I know, unprecedented in recent constitutional history. And the Government's decision to take this action came in spite of Attorney-General Chris Finlayson warning that the legislation is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act's right to justice.
That did not stop the National Government rushing this bill through all stages of law-making and on to the statute books in but a single day, with no opportunity for public discussion or outside criticism."