Rameka v New Zealand

(2005) 2 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law 185

20 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015  

Claudia Geiringer

Victoria University of Wellington School of Law

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

This article discusses the first occasion on which the United Nations Human Rights Committee sought fit to uphold an individual communication against the New Zealand Government. In Rameka et al v New Zealand, the Human Rights Committee decided that New Zealand’s system of “preventive detention”, by which convicted offenders who are considered to pose a serious risk to the safety of the community can be given an indeterminate (open-ended) sentence of imprisonment, violated article 9(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The article examines the Human Rights Committee’s decision (or “views”) for the insights that it has to offer as to the Committee’s methodology (in particular, its consensus-based decision-making process), the quality of its reasons, and its relationship of "constructive dialogue" with States parties. It also evaluates New Zealand’s response to the decision, concluding that it exhibits a lukewarm commitment to full engagement with the treaty body process.

Keywords: preventive detention, New Zealand, Human Rights Committee, constructive dialogue, consensus, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, treaty bodies, individual communication, Rameka, article 9, indeterminate sentence, international law

JEL Classification: K10, K33

Suggested Citation

Geiringer, Claudia, Rameka v New Zealand (2005). (2005) 2 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law 185. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2480862

Claudia Geiringer (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington School of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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