Rameka v New Zealand
(2005) 2 New Zealand Yearbook of International Law 185
20 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015
Date Written: 2005
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: Suggested Citation