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9 - Intra-Parliamentary Dialogues in New Zealand and the United Kingdom

from Part III - Dialogue and Rights

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 April 2019

Geoffrey Sigalet
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Grégoire Webber
Affiliation:
Queen's University, Ontario
Rosalind Dixon
Affiliation:
University of New South Wales, Sydney
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Summary

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act 1998 are examples of ‘third wave’ bills of rights that attempt to combine the virtues of judicial review in a manner that respects the principles of parliamentary democracy. In this spirit, the model is premised on a human rights ‘inter-institutional dialogue’ that is suggested to emerge at critical points in the development and passage of a draft bill. In this chapter, we survey the experiences of New Zealand and the United Kingdom and consider whether inter-institutional dialogue has emerged in these ‘parliamentary’ bills of rights. Our findings suggest that the theory of the new model does not match the reality of the parliamentary experience of rights-based dialogue. We contend that rights-based dialogue is significantly compromised by the durable characteristics of parliamentary democracy, which are majoritarianism, executive dominance, and the careerism of elected officials. These findings are demonstrated by analyzing several bills introduced with reports of inconsistency, and their passage – without amendments – by parliamentary committees and processes that operate in an environment of executive dominance and control.
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Constitutional Dialogue
Rights, Democracy, Institutions
, pp. 235 - 266
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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