Basic constitutional principles and values of New Zealand law
This is a single section from Chapter 3. Read the full chapter here.
Principle of legality
Clear and unambiguous wording must be used if Parliament wishes to override fundamental rights and values.
The principle of legality: Parliament must use unambiguous language when seeking to override basic human rights. The courts will presume that general words in legislation are not intended to override basic human rights. If there is any doubt, it is likely that the right will prevail. This principle is reflected in s 6 NZBORA: “Wherever an enactment can be given a meaning that is consistent with the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights, that meaning shall be preferred to any other meaning.”