Human Rights

Home Expertise Human Rights

Supporting every individual

Preserving and enhancing civil and political freedoms is the mark of a society committed to the rule of law and the flourishing of the individual in a community setting. And in the digital age, one of the most contentious issues in the human rights space is the right to privacy.

Human rights disputes are often highly contentious, clients need to have confidence at the start that they have the best advice and representation available. Our team provides this confidence with a combination of specialist skills, diversity of thinking and a passion to deliver.

Human Rights

The reach of human rights and discrimination law has been expanding over recent years, with a range of challenges being brought to government policy and more and more private sector industries affected by developments in discrimination law.

We are active in advocating for the protection of human rights and freedoms, arguing for them before the courts, through professional and academic associations.

Our experience includes:

  • Advising multinationals and local corporates on the availability of public law and human rights challenges to government policy, and the protection of corporate policies/actions from such challenges.
  • Acting for Lecretia Seales in her high profile human rights challenge on the legality of medical aid in dying services.
  • Representing IDEA Services (the provider arm of IHC NZ Inc) in proceedings brought against the Ministry of Health. It successfully claimed that the Ministry's decision to cease funding day services for people living with intellectual disability when they were exited from similar services funded by the Ministry of Social Development upon reaching 65 years of age, was unlawful age discrimination.
  • Providing advice on liability of corrections staff and others in respect of actions leading to the death of Liam Ashley during transportation from court to prison.
  • Representing the Auckland Hebrew Congregation Trust Board and the Wellington Jewish Community Centre in their judicial review challenge to the decision of the Minister of Agriculture to prohibit the practice of shechita slaughter in New Zealand.
  • Representing the Human Rights Commission on its intervention in a number of human rights cases before the Court of Appeal including:
    • Trevethick v Attorney-General (claim that ACC claimants treated better than people requiring healthcare arising out of non-accident disability/illness)
    • Smith v Air New Zealand (disability discrimination; reasonable accommodation); Winther v Housing New Zealand (family status discrimination; termination of tenancy)
    • Ministry of Health v Atkinson (family status discrimination; "parents as caregivers" case)
    • Spencer v Attorney General (the first time that the High Court has awarded damages for losses occurred as a consequence of a discriminating Government policy.
  • Representing the Human Rights Review Tribunal in Attorney-General v Howard (procedure on an appeal under the Human Rights Act).
  • Advising clients on consistency of various policies with the Human Rights Act and New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
  • Advising on the intersection between Education Act and New Zealand Bill of Rights Act in respect of tuition fee rates.
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