This Review is illegal. It is in breach of section 27 of the Bill of Rights Act, which guarantees the observance of the principles of Natural Justice. It is also illegal because of breaches of the Administrative Law prohibition of procedural impropriety and irrationality. Therefore, this Review should be abandoned immediately.
The legal case that the Review is illegal will not be argued fully here. However, the following points should be noted:
Scope and Stakeholders
Political bias, and therefore illegality, are evident in the limitation of the scope of this Review. The Review states on page 8 that it is not a first principles review. This limitation is based on the statement that "Most stakeholders support the current objectives and framework of the Act" (page 8). However, the authors of the report do not give any indication as to how they define the term "stakeholders", in this context. The suspicion is that they have defined it in a way that guarantees the outcome that they have predetermined.
Under the Official Information Act, I have asked the Ministry of Justice to
This Submission, unfortunately, is having to be written in advance of having received any response to the above challenges.
The Review also states (page 8) that the Act is being copied overseas. Of course, no mention is made of how many countries are copying it, as compared with how many countries are not copying it. In any event such copying merely reflects the fact that the same kind of predermination and bias that we have uncovered in this Review is also present in the work of many university departments, government departments, media outlets and conventional thinking in many (especially Western) countries.
The Domestic Violence Act 1995 was passed on a wave of anti-male hysteria, and, since then, as this Review itself states (on page 5) "we continue to have high rates of domestic violence." This is clearly prima facie evidence that the Act is not doing what some people claim it was intended to do -- reduce domestic violence.
In fact, the Feminists who were behind this legislation were never primarily interested in reducing domestic violence -- their prime aim was to give women the whip-hand in relationships and exploit the propaganda potential of the hysteria that pseudo-scholarship had whipped up around the undefined notion of "battering".
Therefore, the New Zealand Equality Education Foundation calls for a first principles, from-the-ground-up review of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
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New Zealand Equality Education Foundation