International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) was adopted by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 and was ratified by New Zealand on 28 December 1978. New Zealand has made several reservations to the ICCPR which have been summarized here and set out in full on the Ministry of Justice website.

  • Reserves the right not to apply article 10(2) or 10(3) where the shortage of facilities makes the mixing of juveniles and adults unavoidable.
  • Reserves article 10(3) where the interests of other juveniles or the offender may be better served by moving that juvenile to a mixed facility.
  • Reserves article 14 (6) to the extent that it is not satisfied by the existing system for ex gratia payments to persons who suffer as a result of a miscarriage of justice.
  • Reserves the right not to introduce further legislation on racial hatred with regards to article 20 as New Zealand legislation already takes adequate measures.
  • Reserves the right not to introduce further legislation for the existence of trade unions with regards to article 22 as New Zealand legislation already takes adequate measures.

New Zealand has also made the following declarations:

  • New Zealand recognizes the right of the Human Rights Committee to consider communications received by state parties who also recognize the Committee under article 41 except where the declaration of the party was made less than twelve months prior to the submission of a complaint relating to New Zealand.

The ICCPR is considered to be part of the International Bill of Rights along with the ICESCR and the UDHR. It commits states to respect the civil and political rights of citizens including the right to life, freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and the right to a fair trial. The ICCPR is overseen by the Human Rights Committee.

New Zealand ratified the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on 26 May 1989. The Optional Protocol provides an individual complaints mechanism.

The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was ratified by New Zealand on 22 February 1990 and abolished the death penalty.

 

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