PROTECTION IN NEW ZEALAND: THE
NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
dissertation presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements
for the degree of Master of Laws, University of Canterbury
banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.
city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, there's no place for us.
W H Auden
The age of nations is past. It remains for us now, if we do not wish to perish, to set aside the ancient prejudices and build the earth.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
2.1 Sovereignty and Asylum
3.0 New Zealands International Obligations
3.1 The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
3.1.1 Refugee Status and Definition
3.1.2 Right of Asylum
3.2 International Human Rights
3.2.1 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
3.2.2 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
3.3 Non-refoulement as a Custom of International Law
3.3.1 The Problem of State Practice: Interdiction
3.3.2 The Problem of State Practice: National Security
3.3.3 The Problem of State Practice: Safe Third Countries
3.3.4 Non-refoulement: A Custom of International Law?
4.0 Domestic Implementation
4.1 A Dualist Approach?
4.2 The Refugee Convention in New Zealand Law
4.3 The Security Risk Certificate
4.3.1 Part IVA
4.3.2 New Zealand Security and Intelligence Act 1969
5.0 Analysis of the Process: the Case of Mr Zaoui
5.1 The Roles of Inspector-General and Minister
5.2 The National Security Risk Certificate
5.2.1 Classified Information: Vagueness
5.2.2 Classified Information: Human Rights and National Security
5.2.3 Classified Information: a Comparison
5.3 The Role and Impact of International Law
5.3.1 Danger to National Security
5.3.2 Other Considerations of International Law
5.3.3 A Safe Third Country?
6.1 Specific Findings
6.2 Options to Progress
6.3 A Convergence of Interests
On Wednesday 4th December 2002, Mr Ahmed Zaoui, an Algerian academic and religious teacher, presented himself to the New Zealand authorities and claimed refugee status. A miscommunication effectively resulted in Mr Zaoui being perhaps the only person on record who has admitted to being a terrorist to customs staff, and he was subsequently detained on the grounds that his identity needed to be confirmed. This set in motion a labyrinthine sequence of events that continue to test the limits of New Zealand's legal response to persons who are alleged threats to national security, particularly in the context of immigration and refugee matters. Mr Zaoui, Immam, politician, suspected terrorist, father, refugee, is now the centre of a number of competing legal strands, each of an importance difficult to overstate, especially in the current "war on terror" climate: (1)
· Mr Zaoui was initially
declined refugee status on 30 January 2003 by a Refugee Status officer
the grounds that there were serious reasons to consider that he had
committed serious terrorist or
non-political crimes. (2) The Refugee
Status Appeals Authority (RSAA) allowed the appeal against
this decision on 1 August 2003 in a comprehensive de novo
judgment that recognised Mr Zaoui's
legal status as a refugee. Further, the RSAA found that by a
"demonstrable margin" there was no
probative or reliable evidence to give rise to serious reasons to
consider that Mr Zaoui had
committed any act of terrorism, violence or other criminal conduct, or
crimes against humanity
and serious non-political crimes. (3)
· While some might argue that
this decision is alone enough to settle matters of identity and risk,
Zaoui also engaged the attention of the New Zealand Security
Intelligence Service (NZSIS). The
Director of Security (Director) provided a "Security Risk Certificate"
(the Certificate) against Mr
Zaoui to the Minister of Immigration,
(4) the first ever issued. The Certificate uses classified
information to allege that Mr Zaoui is a risk to the national security
of New Zealand. The Minister
made a preliminary decision to rely on the Certificate, and on the same
day (27 March 2003), Mr
Zaoui applied to the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
(Inspector-General) for a
review of the Director's decision. This has exposed a weakness in the
legislative procedure: the
process is currently stalled as counsel for the Crown and Mr Zaoui
argues before the Supreme
Court of New Zealand what form that review should take.
· Mr Zaoui travelled here as an asylum seeker after hearing about New Zealand's humanitarian and compassionate response to the plight of the Tampa refugees. Two years after arriving in New Zealand and eighteen months after being declared a refugee, he was still detained pending the outcome of the review of the Certificate. Nine months of that time was in solitary confinement. The remainder was in a remand prison, and it was only after a protracted legal process that the Supreme Court of New Zealand agreed to Mr Zaoui's conditional release. (5)
Indeed, Mr Zaoui holds a unique place in New Zealand,
that New Zealand is not immune to
the current complexities of terrorism, national security, and personal
liberty. (6) This paper is concerned
Mr Zaoui's uniqueness as a legal test case in New Zealand, challenging
the checks and balances required
between the classified information of national security, and
well-accepted rights of individuals such as liberty
and justice. This brings together considerations of international law,
particularly international refugee law, and
its distillation in domestic law. The realm of international law must
meet the reality of domestic interpretation. While this is now commonly
known as the "Zaoui case", it should not be forgotten in the rhetoric
niceties that a person is at the centre of the discussion, and remains
the focal point. Thus, the aim of this
paper is not strictly to develop conceptions of international refugee
law, but rather to distil pertinent criteria to
examine critically its application to the New Zealand context, and in
particular to Mr Zaoui.
It is a self evident, yet much overlooked fact that in an increasingly globalised world humanity has become entirely interdependent. A conflict in Vietnam results in boatloads of refugees in Australia; the break-up of the former Republic of Yugoslavia leads to an international military and humanitarian response; and an internal conflict in Algeria results over a decade later in a refugee seeking asylum in New Zealand. This reflects the reality that there are those in our world who are compelled to leave their homes due to perilous circumstances in their country of origin. While this problem stretches back millennia and is arguably part of the human condition, never before have people on the move met with such barriers prior to and upon reaching a border of safety.
The challenge of refugees and their protection is therefore a
challenge that one cannot overlook or ignore;
indeed, it is a "challenge of inevitability" (7)
that raises an immediate question: why do refugees matter? Firstly,
it is a basic moral imperative to assist persons in need.
(8) It follows that refugees matter simply because they
are there and are in need. However trite an observation this may seem,
it falls to States to shoulder this reality
and this is the second and more relevant (to this discussion)
criterion. Refugees that engage a State's
responsibilities matter in terms of how a State reacts to such
engagement. In other words, a refugee compels
a State to respond a certain way and that response in turn affect the
status and well-being of the refugee. While the enhancement of human
dignity might be the proper subject of statecraft,
(9) States do not generally
act as moral agents, and rather look to preserve their own
self-interests. As Helton notes, "people, not just
refugees, matter differently in the ways that States calculate their
interests." (10) Competing factors will
a State's response to a refugee arrival, resulting in policies that of
late seem to protect the State rather than
those seeking that protection. One must therefore ground any discussion
of refugees in the role of State and
State sovereignty: the State is still the core unit of analysis in
2.1 Sovereignty and asylum
Some might argue that if the "age of nations" has not yet
then it is passing. International law is
replete with States purporting to cede sovereignty with respect to
other States in a seeming willingness to
shoulder responsibilities and delimit prerogative powers. International
law and agreement is a fetter on
sovereignty. While this is usually a voluntary submission of
sovereignty, implying that a sovereign State may
choose not to abide by an agreement, minimum standards such as human
rights have emerged imposing
restrictions on the exercise of sovereignty. The sovereign is now
accountable to the international community
under threat of "humanitarian intervention."
(11) However, this narrative of sovereignty must be
observation, particularly when circumstances confront a sovereign
State. Thus, sovereignty takes on a
different colour when considering State responses to the right to seek
asylum. It is a basic human right that
one may flee a place of persecution and seek asylum elsewhere. (12) This right though is an
affront to "politically
sacrosanct notions of sovereignty" (13)
and States that seek to control their borders: the right to seek asylum
therefore bereft of meaning where there is no obligation for a State to
grant asylum. (14)
>From the perspective
of standing at a border, State sovereignty indeed appears hegemonic:
territoriality is alive and well. The State
preserves sovereign control of both its territory and those within its
territory. Defensively, this allows State
insulation from external events; affirmatively, sovereignty is the
right of State to self-administration. (15)
In this context, New Zealand must strive to balance two competing public interests, each of critical importance. First, the Crown is ordinarily responsible for maintaining national security and protecting the borders. This includes the right to determine who may cross those borders: a responsibility thrown into stark relief following the terrorist attacks on United States' soil in September 2001. Second, there is a concomitant responsibility to exercise this authority consistently with international obligations. This is representative of the competing interests facing a State in balancing concerns of sovereignty and obligation. While States retain the prerogative to determine who may enter their territory, systemic migration flows buffet States and the role of state is increasingly vulnerable to external pressures. (16) Indeed, there is nothing quite so challenging to the modern State as the "stranger at the gate" and their seeming capacity to threaten sovereignty. (17) Refugees are in many ways a personification of the instability of international relations; (18) therefore, a State's willingness and ability to deal with refugees provides comment on the implications of refugee flows on the role of state and the realities of balancing sovereignty with responsibility.
Current policies highlight the tensions between the asylum seeker and the sovereign responses of States. States are increasingly controlling the movement of refugees and obstructing access to their territory either directly through interdiction policies or indirectly through the application of restrictive visa policies and carrier sanctions. (19) A dramatic example of a restrictive State response to a group of asylum seekers is Australia's interdiction of those rescued by the Tampa: (20)
The right of any State to grant asylum is a thus a consequence of
territorial sovereignty. Conversely, the right
of any State to deny asylum is also incidental of sovereignty; the
right to seek asylum remains a territorially
Currently, this appears to be an issue of control that many States are responding to with non-entrée policies, of which interdiction is the most striking example. This assertion of sovereignty is detrimental to genuine refugees, as the exclusiveness of such policies does not distinguish individual claims, obfuscating the differences between immigrants and those in need of protection. With the decline of Cold War politics and the increase of numbers flowing from developing countries, refugees are falling through the ideological spaces between where States will exercise their sovereignty and where they will assume juridical responsibility. Any assertions of the moral responsibilities of States must therefore be found and bound in law, in the international institutions and legal framework of international protection. This engages the intricacies of sovereignty and removes the discussion from the realm of idealism. Reality dictates that a State will at best conform only to those legal obligations it recognises and accepts. This is a fundamental premise of this paper: that the protection of refugees is not merely a matter of international concern, but of international law. (22) A particular advantage of adopting a legal perspective is that it enables a critique of State actions or inactions in terms of the legal frameworks that those States have agreed to abide by. Thus, commitments, rights, and obligations are delineated and mutually agreed, inviting legal accountability.
In this way, Mr Zaoui provides a focus for the discussion of refugee protection in New Zealand. His case is a challenge to not only New Zealand's sovereignty, but also this country's treasured human rights advocacy. The question remains: will New Zealand stand out in exception to this "tale of international apostasy"? (23) To answer this, the remainder of this paper is set out in three main parts: Part 3 examines the main international obligations that New Zealand has agreed to in this context; Part 4 considers the domestic implementation of these obligations; and Part 5 contains an analysis of the practical implications of realising these international obligations vis-à-vis Mr Zaoui.
3.0 NEW ZEALAND'S INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS
New Zealand is party to numerous international agreements relevant
to the protection of refugees that purport
to inform State action when confronted with people seeking asylum.
These set out the minimum standards
of State practice; the international regime of refugee protection thus
provides a point of reference for New
Zealand to measure itself. The primary instrument of refugee law is the
1951 United Nations Convention
Relating to the Status of Refugees.
3.1 The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
New Zealand acceded to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of
Refugees on 30 June 1960, and the
1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees on 6 August 1973. (24) The 1951 Refugee Convention and
the amending 1967 Protocol to the Convention (25)
provide much of the legal framework for the protection of
refugees. (26) It is the modern
incarnation of the "ancient and universal tradition" of providing
sanctuary to those
seeking protection, (27) creating a
system for protecting people at risk in their own countries. While
other instruments relevant to the protection needs of refugees, the
Refugee Convention remains the primary
source of refugee law and as such demands a central place in any
discussion of refugee protection. It has
accumulated a potent symbolic value with moral and legal obligations to
which many States have bound
3.1.1 Refugee definition and status
Importantly, the Refugee Convention provides a concise legal definition of "refugee" and outlines the rights and obligations of refugees and receiving States that come into effect when an asylum-seeker has entered a territory and made a refugee claim. The Refugee Convention defines a refugee as someone who: (29)
… owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of
race, religion, nationality,
membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is
outside the country of [their]
nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail
[themselves] of the
protection of that country ...
Thus, four linear characteristics identify a 'Convention' refugee: (30)
1. they are outside the country of their nationality;
2. they are unable or unwilling to seek the protection of that country;
3. such inability or unwillingness is due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted; and
4. the persecution feared is for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
Convention itself contains significant hurdles for an
asylum-seeker seeking protection as a
refugee. Indeed, given the seemingly limitless manner and forms of
persecution, the limitations imposed
under the Refugee Convention are severe. (31)
interpret the definition narrowly, excluding many
asylum-seekers from the protection of the Refugee Convention. (32) Further, the Refugee Convention
putative refugees by the reasons found in Article 1F, such as crimes
against humanity and serious non-political crimes.
(33) While strictly delimiting the group of persons the
Refugee Convention applies to in this way
may appear an "unworthy exercise in legalism and semantics", it is
central to the facilitation and justification
of aid and protection. (34) The Refugee
Convention is an essential compromise between those fleeing
persecution and the more recent trend of restrictive immigration
It is vital to note however, that refugee status is not dependent on State recognition. (36) The obvious implication from this is that obligations flow to the State from a person's status as a refugee, regardless of the mode of arrival: (37)
do not arrive illegally. That is a mistake. A person is entitled under
law to make an application for refugee asylum in a country when they
allege that they are
escaping from persecution … That is simply the law.
the rights granted to refugees must also initially be given
to asylum seekers making a refugee
claim. (38) Gibney reinforces this
empirically, arguing compellingly that the majority of refugees are
violence and it is clear who needs protection.
(39) This is also intuitive: why would people risk the
dangers of life
as a refugee unless fleeing an even greater risk?
compliance with the Refugee Convention follows if a State accepts and
processes a refugee claim,
protecting asylum seekers from penalties, (40)
expulsion, (41) and refoulement. (42) This gives expression to the 1948
United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 1 and 14, which
respectively declare that all people are
"born free and equal in dignity and rights" and have the "right to seek
and enjoy in other countries asylum from
persecution." In an ideal world, this paper might be congratulating New
Zealand for living up to such
standards. For that is the crux of the matter here. The rights to have
equality, liberty, and enjoy asylum in
other countries are declaratory only: they exist only in an ideal
world. Indeed, the conferment of refugee status
is not sufficient of itself to regularise the standing of a refugee in
a receiving country. It falls to whether the
Refugee Convention itself contains a right of asylum.
3.1.2 Right of Asylum
The basic problem facing those seeking the protection of other countries is that the Refugee Convention does not provide a specific right of asylum; that is, the right of a refugee to enter a country and enjoy the protection of the receiving State. Domestic courts instead interpret asylum as a function of sovereignty: asylum seekers do not have a right of asylum, but the State may grant asylum. Justice Gummow makes this point, declaring that: (43)
right of asylum is a right of States, not of the individual; no
individual, including those
seeking asylum, may assert a right to enter the territory of a State of
which that individual is
not a national.
Executive Committee (EXCOM) of UNHCR policies stress that
asylum is "among the most basic
mechanisms for the protection of refugees", (44)
a textual reading of the Refugee Convention is not so explicit. It
remains for logic and reality to conclude that it is meaningless to
have refugee status if there is no
concomitant right to protection in another country: the Refugee
Convention itself is rendered null without an
implicit right to asylum. (45)
Reliance on the Refugee Convention therefore takes on a circular argument absent a right of asylum. Article 31 of the Refugee Convention, which contemplates the right to seek a country of asylum enshrined in Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is relevant to those refugees unlawfully present in State territory. Article 31 provides protection against penalties and restrictions of movement being imposed for unlawful entry to a country of refuge:
also clearly recognises the situation that some refugees will be
required to obtain admission in
another country. (46) This implies that
expulsion of a refugee does not constitute a penalty, and nor does it
directly, a right to be lawfully admitted to a State territory. (47) Article 32 of the Refugee
this, extending the protection from expulsion only to those refugees
lawfully on a State's territory. (48)
Refugee Convention balances sovereignty with obligation by allowing
sovereign discretion to States on
whether to grant asylum to those unlawfully on their territory.
However, in opposition to this discretion is the
often unwillingness of other States to accept expelled refugees. Thus,
if no other State will accept an expelled
refugee, the asylum seeker has effectively gained a right to asylum in
the country of refuge. The two options
in Article 31 - regularisation of status or admission into another
country - in these circumstances may be
regarded as exclusive alternatives. (49)
Grahl-Madsen notes that in this situation, a refugee's status in the
relevant State would inevitably be regarded as lawful, and the
protection of Article 32 crystallised. (50)
this appears to push the purpose of Article 31 beyond its limits,
turning it into a right of entry, thus completing
the circle of argument between seeking and granting asylum. As Mathew
and Grahl-Madsen both argue,
"[r]ealities, rather than the mantra of 'no right of entry' must
determine the position." (51) The
circularity of the
right to asylum versus the sovereignty of receiving States is only
resolved by the willingness of another country
to take asylum seekers. (52) This
leaves an ambiguity in the Refugee Convention that countries such as
Australia can exploit, expelling asylum seekers to "safe" third
countries, restricting the ambit of Article 31 to
a right of presence pending solution. However, the Refugee
Convention further circumscribes this uncertainty
by the obligations found in Article 33 of the Refugee Convention.
The cornerstone of refugee protection is the principle of non-refoulement. This term derives from the French refouler, which means to drive back or repel. (53) It recognises the basic moral tenet that to return a person to a place of persecution is to become an accomplice to that mistreatment. (54) It is thus distinct from the more formal processes of extradition and deportation, where a lawfully present alien is required to leave a State. (55) Article 33, the prohibition of expulsion or return ('refoulement') in full states:
No Contracting State shall expel or return (refouler) a
refugee in any manner
whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where [their] life or
freedom would be threatened
on account of [their] race, religion, nationality, membership of a
particular social group
or political opinions.
(2) The benefit of the present provision may not, however, be claimed by a refugee whom there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which [they are], or who, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country.
seems that the Refugee Convention allows a receiving State to
restrict entry to its territory, this must
be done in a manner that does not refoule refugees to a place
of persecution. This prohibition precludes the
sending of a refugee to any country where there is a
well-founded fear of persecution; it also has the effect
of prohibiting the indirect return of a refugee to a country of
persecution. (56) Again, in the absence
of a right to
asylum a State may decline a grant of asylum without offending non-refoulement.
State parties have thus
undertaken an obligation to either admit refugees or not return them to
a place where they risk persecution. (57)
This again engages the sovereignty versus the right to asylum debate.
Goodwin-Gill notes that the initial draft of Article 33 was without the Article 33(2) exception. (58) It was during the same drafting stage though that States resisted the inclusion of a right of asylum in the UDHR and in the Refugee Convention itself. Article 33(2) was later added in a concession to State sovereignty, precluding the notion of non-refoulement as an absolute right under the Refugee Convention and acknowledging potential justifications for derogation. A State can therefore justify expulsion of a refugee on certain limited grounds, as summarised by Lauterpacht and Bethlehem. (59) Firstly, any danger must be prospective in nature. Secondly, and equally apparent from the text, the danger must be to the country of refuge. Although a country may use its jurisdiction to control a person constituting a danger to other countries, this must be done without resort to refoulement. This recognises that the exception in Article 33(2) embodies a compromise between the fear of persecution and danger: "reasonable grounds" contemplates discretion for States to determine whether the risk to the refugee on refoulement is outweighed by the threat to the community. (60) Thirdly, "reasonable grounds" presupposes some objective criteria for States to apply when considering a potential threat to the community. Thus, States must not act arbitrarily or capriciously. However, this ambiguity leaves a considerable margin of appreciation for States to define the kinds of acts or omissions that will trigger a response of national security, and further what will amount to sufficient proof of danger. There must be a high threshold for the exception to operate though, given the potentially serious consequences for an individual facing refoulement. Fourthly, it is the danger posed by the individual in question that must be assessed, and therefore individual circumstances must be accounted for. Thus, assessment of the competing interests of State and refugee requires reference to the specific nature of risk an individual may face on refoulement.
The Refugee Convention makes it clear that generally, the return of refugees to the frontiers of risk was not to be permitted. The exception found in Article 33(2) has a high threshold, especially when considering a person with refugee status has already passed the barriers of Article 1F. (61) Article 42 of the Refugee Convention further emphasises the fundamental importance of non-refoulement, including Article 33 in its list of provisions that States may not make reservations against when ratifying the Refugee Convention. The principle of non-refoulement in Article 33 (including the exception) is therefore an obligation without derogation under the Refugee Convention, further enshrining the primary importance of this provision in refugee protection. (62) As Lauterpacht and Bethlehem state, "[i]t embodies the humanitarian essence of the [Refugee] Convention." (63)
While the corollary of non-refoulement is not specifically found, protection absent asylum is the minimum guarantee for refugees seeking protection under the Refugee Convention. This gives expression to the preambular object of the Refugee Convention, to "assure refugees the widest possible exercise of those fundamental rights and freedoms" enshrined in the 1948 Charter of the United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human Rights while recognising that "the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens" on sovereignty. (64) The lack of legal impetus regarding asylum despite non-refoulement therefore means that the receiving State alone may determine the "material content of asylum and to whom it will or will not accord" such advantage. (65)
3.2 International Human Rights
of refugee law was grounded in the humanitarian ideals of the 1948 UDHR
and the nascent
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This also marks the beginning
of human rights more generally
as legally recognised rights, both internationally and domestically:
the Refugee Convention and human rights
instruments have their origins in the UDHR. Current international human
rights jurisprudence is therefore
relevant to the protection of refugees, with respect to both the
relevant provisions and the way those
provisions can aid in the interpretation of the Refugee Convention
itself. Like the Refugee Convention, the
human rights regime "employs the language and institutions of law to
limit the harm that the powerful inflict
on the vulnerable." (66) Importantly,
international instruments establish the minimum rights a
State must uphold.
3.2.1 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
New Zealand ratified the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1978. A number of articles are of direct relevance to the protection of asylum seekers generally and indeed Mr Zaoui specifically. These include:
· Article 2: the protection of the ICCPR extends to all individuals within a State's territory and subject to its jurisdiction, regardless of nationality or statelessness, such as asylum seekers who find themselves under the jurisdiction of a State party;
· Article 6: the right to life;
· Article 7: the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel and unusual punishment;
· Article 10: the right to be treated with humanity and dignity if deprived of liberty; and
· Article 14: the right to a
fair trial and the opportunity to be heard.
Article 4(1) contemplates derogation from obligations found in the
ICCPR in certain circumstances, such
derogation must be temporary and of an exceptional nature such as a
national emergency. This exception
does not extend to inter alia Article 6 or Article 7 of the
ICCPR: the right to life and protection from torture and
cruel and unusual punishment are absolute rights under the ICCPR. This
is important to note as these
provisions become relevant in situations of expulsion of refugees,
adding to the impetus of non-refoulement
obligations owed to those facing risks of death and torture in other
countries. (67) Implicit under the
the protection from being returned, either directly or indirectly, to a
place where there are substantial grounds
for believing such rights may be infringed upon. In other words, the
decision to return someone to a place
where life or torture is threatened is tantamount to an infringement of
the ICCPR by the country expelling the
3.2.2 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
In addition to the Refugee Convention and the ICCPR, the principle of non-refoulement is "powerfully expressed" (69) in the 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Article 3 of the CAT states:
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
the CAT, a person who can demonstrate substantial
likelihood of future torture may not be
returned to the country where the torture is likely to occur. The
protection from torture is broader than the
protection offered by the Refugee Convention in two main ways. Unlike
the Refugee Convention, there is no
limiting category of persons that the CAT applies to - the CAT attempts
to prevent all forms of torture, without
regard to the status of the individual concerned, even (or especially)
where a person falls outside the ambit
of the refugee definition. (70) This
approach, focusing on the individual reflects the humanitarian nature
non-refoulement principle. Secondly, unlike the Article 33
obligation in the Refugee Convention, Article 3 of
the CAT is expressed without exception. The prohibition of returning a
person to a place of torture is in
absolute terms, without derogation of any form. The CAT applies even to
those a State might consider a
security risk, even where there are competing national interests: there
is no discretion available. This
reasoning was applied in Chahal v United Kingdom, which held
(on the equivalent Article 3 of the European
Convention on Human Rights) that even where the applicant was a
security risk, the likelihood of torture if
returned mandated his continued residence in the United Kingdom. (71) As the Chahal case
CAT provides a "trump card" to the courts that counters some of the
restrictive tendencies of current electoral
While the non-refoulement principle is expressed forcefully in the CAT, the protection afforded is somewhat constrained. By definition, the protection extends to only those in fear of future torture: fears of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment may not rise to the level of a CAT claim. Further, the rights provided are inferior to those found in the Refugee Convention. (73) Thus, while the CAT makes no distinctions between classes of persons, it does not regularise the standing of those protected by the CAT as the Refugee Convention does for refugees. The right to not be returned to a place of torture remains a right in isolation from other fundamental rights such as the right to employment (74) and freedom of movement. (75)
However, the CAT is representative of a convergence of refugee law and human rights norms more generally. An example of this is the potential for the CAT to inform State decisions related to the expulsion of refugees and asylum seekers. Narrow interpretations under the Refugee Convention will often drive failed asylum seekers to the protection of human rights treaty bodies. (76) Gorlick notes that this would be less likely if States honoured the spirit of their obligations under the Refugee Convention, (77) thus providing protection in the liberal manner envisaged in the preambular text that:
the hope that the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees will
as an example exceeding its contractual scope and that all nations will
be guided by it in
granting so far as possible to persons in their territory as refugees
and who would not be
covered by the terms of the Convention, the treatment for which it
3.3 Non-refoulement as a Custom of International Law
Article 53 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna
Convention), a norm
can be characterised as a peremptory norm of international law if the
international community accepts and
recognises that norm as one that permits no derogation. Although the
obligations of non-refoulement flowing
from the human rights instruments discussed above permit no derogation,
the question remains whether or
not States accept and recognise this as a peremptory norm beyond the
scope of their contractual
agreements. (78) In other words, is non-refoulement
part of customary international law?
The above discussion shows that the principle of non-refoulement prescribes broadly that no refugee should be returned to a place of persecution or torture. As such, non-refoulement is expressed in numerous international, regional, and domestic agreements. (79) A sound argument can therefore be made that the principle of non-refoulement has attained the status of a customary international law. (80) As of the 15th February 2005, the Refugee Convention and its Protocol had 142 State Parties respectively; (81) the ICCPR had 154 State Parties; (82) and the CAT had 139 State Parties. (83) This represents a significant majority of States that attests to the normative force of non-refoulement. (84) Numerous Conclusions of the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reinforce this, stating that such agreement is indicative of universal and regional acceptance of the principle. (85) While the EXCOM Conclusions do not have the force of law and therefore do not create binding obligations, they do contribute to the formulation of opinion juris - where States act out of a perceived legal obligation. Further, Goodwin-Gill notes that international organisations such as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the UNHCR consistently endorse the principle of non-refoulement by consensus. (86) That no State has taken the opportunity to oppose or object to such assertions is gives additional credence to the assertion that non-refoulement is part of customary international law. Indeed, Goodwin-Gill argues compellingly that this leads to "substantive, if not conclusive authority that the principle is binding on all States, independently of specific assent." (87)
3.3.1 The Problem of State Practice: Interdiction
of States must be uniform and consistent for the establishment of a
customary rule. (88) Article
38(1)(b) of the 1945 Statute of the International Court of Justice
describes customary international law as
"international custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as
law." To establish the existence of a
customary international law, one must show a general practice,
and show that this practice is accepted as law. A significant
hurdle then in the assertion that non-refoulement has
attained customary status is inconsistent
State practice. Thus, the status of non-refoulement must be
viewed in the context of what States actually do
in practice. While the numbers of State Parties above demonstrate a
near universal acceptance of the
principle, there is little agreement on the implementation of non-refoulement;
the parameters are not clearly
defined. (89) Thus, although
Goodwin-Gill points to State practice and finds a general compliance
with non-refoulement, two recent examples indicate the
contrary: the United States' interception of Haitians in
international waters and the rejection of the Tampa refugees
Observance of these cases invites a conclusion that both the US and Australia showed an indifference to any rule of non-refoulement. Both examples involved the interdiction of refugees on the sea - the Haitians returned to Haiti without claims of persecution being investigated, and the Tampa refugees transferred to a third country. Both countries, rather than providing the protection non-refoulement affords, appeared to send refugees on to further risk. One explanation for this is offered by the relevant domestic court decisions, indicating that it is not non-refoulement that is in doubt, but rather the scope and application of non-refoulement. The domestic courts' response to offshore asylum seekers in Australia and the US rest on the assumption the Refugee Convention has a territorial scope: international provisions apply only where a refugee is physically present in a State territory. A refugee cannot be refouled if they have not entered a State territory. This requires a narrow interpretation of non-refoulement and a certain suspension of logic. Mathew displays understandable incredulity, noting it makes a mockery of the words "return" and "in any manner whatsoever." (90) Australia illumines this analysis further, legislatively permitting the extra-territorial interception of asylum seekers and a denial of access to Australian protection. (91) Included in the raft of legislative changes following the Tampa incident was the "excising" of territory for the purposes of immigration, including Christmas Island where the Tampa refugees were refused entry. The Tampa refugees are not considered in law to have been on Australian territory and therefore did not engage Australia's protection obligations. A legal fiction is created: an asylum seeker in certain areas of Australia does not engage domestic jurisdiction, irrespective of international obligations, essentially creating a "rights free" zone. Thus, in the eyes of the domestic courts there was no infringement of non-refoulement, not because there was no evidence of a return to or risk of persecution, but because the asylum seekers did not engage the protection responsibilities through a lack of jurisdiction.
While these decisions have been the subject of much academic scrutiny and criticism, the important point to take in the context of customary international law is that the US and Australia went to extraordinary lengths to avoid international obligations. These cases can therefore be seen as supporting non-refoulement as a customary rule in two ways:
1. The US and Australia demonstrated cogent awareness of their legal obligations of non-refoulement. Neither country argued that there was no infringement of non-refoulement, but that the asylum seekers had not engaged that obligation. The US argued successfully that there was no return as the Haitian asylum seekers had not entered US territory, and Australia was able to avoid the Tampa refugees through the implementation of domestic legislation. The ambivalence of the US and Australia remains, but Goodwin-Gill's assertion that no State claims any general right to return asylum seekers to persecution or torture holds in these examples. (92) During the interdiction of Haitian asylum seekers, the US delegate to a UNHCR meeting stated: (93)
underscore the fundamental importance of the principle of
prohibits the expulsion and return of refugees to countries or
territories where their lives or
freedom would be threatened.
recognition of non-refoulement obligations in these
(negative) examples contribute to and do not
detract from the opinio juris regarding non-refoulement.
This point was emphasised in the Nicaragua
case that showed that in some circumstances derogation could strengthen
a rule: (94)
a State acts in a way prima facie incompatible with a
recognized rule, but
defends its conduct by appealing to exceptions or justifications
contained within the rule itself,
then whether or not the State's conduct is in fact justifiable on that
basis, the significance of
that attitude is to confirm rather than weaken the rule.
examples show that the principle of non-refoulement is
accepted as law, and that a core of State
practice adheres to a minimum standard of upholding non-refoulement. (96) It is the reach of non-refoulement
that is in doubt rather than the principle itself. States are left to
interpret when their obligations are engaged
and how to implement those obligations. This is representative of
international law generally, which allows
States significant latitude in interpretation as a concession to the
realities of achieving consensus between
3.3.2 The Problem of State Practice: National Security
caveats on the application of non-refoulement are the
exceptions of national security and public order. In the context of
refugees, Article 33(2) as noted above provides an exception to non-refoulement;
it is not an
absolute right under the Refugee Convention and therefore is itself a
potential stumbling block in attaining
customary status. Under Article 33(2), the possibility of derogation
from non-refoulement is arguably inherent
and Goodwin-Gill observes that this has long been considered as
potential justification for derogation. (97)
so, national security and public order have attained new emphasis
recently in the current context of fear:
terrorism. This potentially opens for discussion whether non-refoulement
can be balanced with considerations
of national security and on what grounds, in circumstances where refoulement
might involve a return to
torture. The question remains whether the exception found in the
refugee context can be imported into the
context of the torture, or vice versa.
Two main cases can be considered on this point. Firstly, the Canadian Supreme Court in Suresh v Canada considered whether the expulsion of a refugee is prohibited where there is a substantial risk of torture. (98) The Supreme Court adopted a stance purporting to balance the individual protection needs of Suresh with the legitimate security concerns of Canada. The Court considered that a balance was necessary only in circumstances where the individual in question was a serious threat to national security, envisaging a high level of danger to the security of Canada. In this way, the Court recognised the need to consider the individual circumstances of the refugee, opining that this balance would usually come down against expelling a person to face torture elsewhere and further acknowledging that the norm in international law rejected expulsion to torture. (99) However, the Court left open the small theoretical possibility that in an exceptional case expulsion might be justified, and applying this exception deferred to the relevant Minister's discretion on matters of national security. The Supreme Court in Canada at least is providing authority for the notion that the context of terrorism allows a balancing test even in the face of prospective torture.
This can be contrasted with the European Court of Human Rights, which considered a similar case of a failed refugee claim in Chahal v United Kingdom. (100) As mentioned above, the Court issued a clear directive that in no circumstances should any person be returned to a place of torture. Even in situations where an individual's conduct is a direct threat to that community "the Convention prohibits in absolute terms torture … and makes no provisions for exceptions and no derogation is permissible …" (101) The Court went on to offer that this prohibition was equally absolute in cases of expulsion, and that no derogation was possible "even in the event of a public emergency threatening the life of the nation." (102) The protection afforded under Article 3 in this case was clearly wider than that offered by the terms of Articles 32 and 33 of the Refugee Convention. This approach follows that of the Committee Against Torture itself. The Committee has repeatedly stated that the prohibition of refoulement under Article 3 is absolute and imperative, declaring that "whenever substantial grounds exist for believing an individual would be in danger of … torture upon expulsion to another State, the State Party is under an obligation not to return the person concerned to that State." (103) Further, the Committee added that considerations of the individual's activities and crimes are not a material consideration under Article 3.
Following Chahal and the Committee itself, it is difficult to see a reason to advocate judicial restraint with respect to national security in this context. The Suresh decision seemed to follow the logic that since the cost of failure can be so high in matters of national security (citing the 9/11 attacks on US soil in 2001), decisions of Crown Ministers should be respected as they are elected to decide such sensitive matters. However, this appears to be an abdication of judicial responsibility as a check on Crown powers. Where the Crown is privy to vital information relating to national security, the Courts are empowered to test that information and protect the interests of individuals affected by the exercise of those powers.
3.3.3 The Problem of State Practice: "Safe" Third Countries
As seen from
the Australian response to the Tampa refugees, State practice
includes the removal of refugees
to "safe" third countries. The question therefore arises: does the
transfer of refugees to third countries show
an indifference to legal obligations under the Refugee Convention? Key
to this inquiry is whether the
expulsion of refugees under the guise of safe third countries
constitutes a breach of Article 33 of the Refugee
Convention. While there is no obligation to grant asylum, the
obligation to respect Article 33 remains, thus
preventing the indirect return to a place of persecution, or chain-refoulement. (104) This calls into question the
use of safe third countries and whether this sovereign solution is
allowed for in light of non-refoulement
It is clear that the Refugee Convention does not preclude a State avoiding a grant of asylum to a refugee it owes an obligation of non-refoulement by "passing the buck" to a third country. (105) However, this necessarily requires some minimum standards in a third country to comply with the non-refoulement obligation, hence the term "safe" third countries. Legomsky, writing for the Department of International Protection of the UNHCR comments extensively on the standards a destination country should be seeking in a safe third country. He attempts to unite principle with pragmatism: the more serious a potential harm in a third country, the less chance of its occurrence one should take. (106) Some of the risks and standards contemplated include: (107)
· the risk of chain refoulement;
· the third country may not be party to the Refugee Convention;
· the third country may not have an effective refugee determination procedure in place;
· asylum seekers may not be protected from discrimination and privacy;
· there might be threats to physical security and basic subsistence;
· the third country might practice long-term indiscriminate and arbitrary detention or other human rights abuses; and
· that there is some link between the asylum seeker and the third country. (108)It is essential that any putative safe third country provide protection to the refugee. (109) However, reality demonstrates the gap between the rhetoric of best practice and the bare minimum standards of international law that refugees fall through. (110) Nauru provides a dramatic example of asylum seekers being sent to a "safe" third country that is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention and further has no established practice or infrastructure to deal with refugees. (111) Adding more tension to Australia's concept of "safe", there is also (inter alia) evidence of sparse water supply, (112) arbitrary detention of asylum seekers contrary to the constitution of Nauru, (113) and continuing political instability. (114) It also seems clear that refugees predominately from Afghanistan and Iraq have no connection with a small island near the equator and nor would they choose to go there voluntarily. (115) While Australia may be criticised for stretching the concept of safe third country to breaking point, there is "no clear legal basis to contest the Australian reallocation scheme." (116) As Hathaway notes, the legality of Australian practice ultimately depends on the foreseeable risk of direct or indirect refoulement. (117) Thus, current practice suggests that Australia can claim compliance with legal obligations. However, this appears to be an abdication of the moral basis for the role of state, particularly advantaged States. It is a basic moral insight that in an interdependent world almost everyone is involved in the welfare of others: the flows of refugees affect all. Thus, the promoters of refugee protection cannot morally abrogate responsibility through non-entrée policies to the detriment of the very people they purport to protect.
further sets out in some detail twelve premises that should underpin
the return of refugees to
third countries, from which four main points can be derived. (118) Firstly, refugees have rights,
both domestic and international law. These rights include the bundle of
rights contained in the Refugee
Convention to fair and humane treatment, human rights, and most
importantly in this context, the right not
to be returned to a place of persecution. Secondly, in contrast to the
individual rights of refugees, States
retain sovereign discretion: as discussed above, there is no obligation
to grant asylum. Thirdly, however,
States retain responsibility for those who cross their borders. The
country in which a refugee application is
lodged is generally responsible to ensure non-refoulement
obligations are complied with, even if
transferred to a third country. Fourthly, the refugee is entitled to
effective protection, irrespective of
whether the destination State or a safe third country provides that
protection, contemplating potential
international cooperation in the protection of refugees.
3.3.4 Non-refoulement: A Custom of International Law?
the customary status of non-refoulement is important for
several reasons in the context of this
paper. Firstly, non-refoulement as a custom reduces the
importance of any perceived breaches of the
principle. In this way, prima facie breaches question the
parameters of non-refoulement, not the principle
itself. Secondly, domestic courts in New Zealand can apply customary
law beyond any contractual
obligations. (119) Non-refoulement
as a custom invites judicial scrutiny as to the scope and application
principle beyond the purview of relevant State implementation. Further,
if non-refoulement is accepted as a
custom of international law, every treaty and treaty obligation, and
every act by a State or international
organisation that is in conflict with or violation of this norm, is
The above analysis leads to the conclusion that the minimum standards of non-refoulement have in fact achieved the status of customary international law. There is a general practice of States that is accepted as law, which can be summarised as follows:
· Refugees are protected from refoulement, with only the narrow exceptions of national security and public order having relevance. Thus, the norm from which no derogation is permitted in the context of refugees includes the Article 33(2) exception;
Despite the Suresh decision, the weight of evidence suggests
that all persons, whether refugee or
otherwise, are protected from return to torture, without exception. No
derogation is permitted
under the ICCPR, CAT, or the ECHR.
law then is essentially a reprise of the "ordinary meaning" of the
words found in the treaties applied
in good faith: a refugee may not generally be returned to persecution
while no person may be returned to a
place of torture. While the parameters of the principle are subject to
competing interpretations, it is clear that
non-refoulement permits no derogation and its status is
secure. Ultimately though, whether non-refoulement
has attained the status of customary international law is a question to
be answered by the domestic courts
who are asked to rule on this point.
4.0 DOMESTIC IMPLEMENTATION
preoccupation with international law and human rights treaties so far
has established the broad
framework of the New Zealand's international obligations towards those
refugees at risk of persecution or
torture. While these considerations are important of themselves, the
analysis necessarily strays into the realm
of constitutional law and the proper relationship between international
and domestic law: tersely, are
unincorporated international treaties binding on domestic courts? This
section reviews the degree of
implementation of the international instruments discussed in Part 3
into New Zealand domestic law and their
application to the context of this paper.
4.1 A Dualist Approach?
Traditionally, New Zealand as a common law jurisdiction is committed to an orthodox "dualist" conception of the relationship between international norms and domestic law. Thus, international treaties are only relevant to the extent enacted in legislation, recognising the "essential" constitutional distinction between (1) the formation, and, (2) the performance, of the obligations constituted by a treaty. (121) Lord Atkin iterates this: (122)
[T]here is a well-established rule that the making of a treaty is an executive act, while the performance of its obligations, if they entail alteration of the existing domestic law, requires legislative action. Unlike some other countries, the stipulations of a treaty duly ratified do not … by virtue of the treaty alone, have the force of law.
this constitutional maxim, if the performance of a treaty entails the
alteration of domestic law,
legislative action is required to give the obligation domestic effect,
thereby restricting the courts from giving
direct effect to an unincorporated treaty obligation.
(123) This dualism gives expression to the doctrines of
separation of powers and parliamentary sovereignty, where the Executive
is ordinarily responsible for treaty
making while the power to enact laws remains with Parliament. The
functional separation of powers underpins
the democratic rationale and foundation of the New Zealand legal
system. Accordingly, treaty obligations must
be "transformed" through legislative process to be given lawful effect
in New Zealand. (124)
On the other hand, this approach is somewhat unsatisfying for courts, particularly in the context of human rights, for two reasons. (125) Firstly, the evolution of international human rights law has altered the emphasis of international law. Prior to the human rights framework, international law primarily concerned the contractual relationships between States and the obligations owed as a matter of sovereign agreement; an executive act regulating State actions vis-à-vis other States. This fits with the dualist approach and the importance of maintaining a separation of powers. In contrast, the subject matter of international human rights treaties lies conformably with one of the fundamental roles of the domestic courts: the regulation of State institutions vis-à-vis the rights of their citizens. Higgins observes that the body of international human rights law is: (126)
different from the rest of international law, in that it stipulates
that obligations are
owed directly to individuals (and not to the national government of an
individual); and it
provides, increasingly, for individuals to have access to tribunals and
fora for the effective
guarantees of those obligations.
Geiringer agrees that this transformation of international law has been further accelerated through the proliferation of international institutions empowered to monitor State parties' compliance with their human rights obligations. (127) It is therefore disingenuous for a State to argue before a domestic court it is entitled to ignore obligations agreed to in the international arena that are examinable before an international body. (128) Secondly, the growth of human rights instruments and jurisprudence is representative of a convergence of international and domestic law. Thus, human rights in New Zealand, guarded by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1991 (Bill of Rights) and the Human Rights Act 1993, may properly be considered in light of the relevant provisions in international human rights law. Domestic courts may therefore be seen at the forefront of human rights protection, both domestically and internationally. Elias echoed this, commenting in 2000 that "[t]he strict theory of dualism is … not supportable if it suggests that the Courts will not give practical effect to international covenants, particularly when they touch upon human rights, unless they are incorporated in domestic legislation." (129)
Minster of Immigration (130)
provides an example of a recent approach of the New Zealand courts when
applying international law domestically. The case concerned the appeal
of an overstayer seeking the
cancellation of a warrant of removal on humanitarian grounds. The
Minister of Immigration, exercising a
statutory discretion, declined the appeal. Relying on the ICCPR and the
1989 Convention on the Rights of
the Child, the applicant argued that the Minister must have regard to
the relevant provisions in these
instruments when exercising the discretion. The essential argument for
the Crown in response was that they
were not obliged to take account of international instruments. While
the Court of Appeal declined to make a
ruling on this point, Cooke P expressed scepticism to the Crown
argument, calling it "unattractive" and likening
it to "window dressing": an argument the Court would have "hesitation"
in accepting. (131) This
decision, at least
in the immigration context, has been treated as binding authority for
the proposition that human rights
obligations are a mandatory relevant consideration in administrative
decision-making. (132) Thus,
Status Branch must take consideration of the relevant provisions of the
Refugee Convention when making
a refugee status determination. (133)
This is arguably a good result for a Crown seeking to avoid international obligations. Those international obligations become one of many factors a decision-maker is obliged to take into account, moving a decision beyond the purview of the courts. Thus, while the Crown has accepted Tavita as authority that international obligations are a mandatory consideration in decision-making, this is something less than a "presumption of consistency" with international obligations found in other cases. (134) Contrasting the approach in Tavita is New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Inc v Attorney-General. (135) In considering the application of international treaties in this case, the Court of Appeal evidenced a willingness to read relevant statutes consistently with relevant international obligations. The Court adopted a case-by-case basis, bearing in mind both the international context and the related national statute. (136) In applying this presumption, the Court took account of a number of factors, considering:
· the binding force of the treaty, both generally in international law and specifically in the New Zealand context;
· the treaty's relative importance: in the Pilots Association case, a relatively unimportant treaty was contrasted with the high importance of a "fundamental human rights treaty";
· the indeterminate character of the treaty, particularly one that competes with a clear legislative framework. This included recognition that a domestic system may run in parallel with international obligations: in other words, the Court considered whether the treaty would undermine the very nature and purpose of the statutory power.
In applying this analytical framework to the particular facts of the case, the Court read one section considered consistently with the relevant international obligation while finding it could not read the other section considered consistently with the relevant international obligations. The presumption of consistency was addressed on a case-by-case basis, considering the nature of the relevant international obligation and domestic statute in question.
Tavita and the Pilots Association cases demonstrate a finely nuanced difference in approach that can lead to dramatically different results. Gereinger provides a pertinent illustration of the potential differing results between the presumption of consistency in the Airline Pilots case and the mandatory relevant consideration case of Tavita: (137)
Article 3 of the [CAT] prohibits States Parties to the Convention from returning a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that she or he would be in danger of being subjected to torture. Assume that X, the Minister of Immigration, is charged with deciding whether Y is to be returned to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that she or he will be tortured (let us say, Algeria). If Article 3 is a mandatory relevant consideration, X will be obliged to consider the existence of that obligation before reaching a decision. It is possible though, that X might decide there are other considerations (for example, national security concerns) that are of such importance that Y should nevertheless be returned to Algeria. That decision would not be reviewable, at least not for failure to consider a mandatory relevant consideration. If, however, X's authorising statute is to be read subject to a presumption of consistency with international obligations (and assuming the statutory language does not rebut such a rights-consistent reading) X cannot lawfully decide to return Y to Algeria, regardless of X's evaluation of the competing considerations.
brief analysis of cases reveals an approach analogous to that used by
Courts when considering section
4 and section 6 of the Bill of Rights. (138)
This approach to statutory interpretation requires a rights-consistent
reading of enactments where the text allows such interpretation, yet
preserving the effect of clearly
inconsistent wording. Similarly, the Courts have evidenced a
willingness to adopt an analogous style when
considering relevant international treaties, reading domestic law
consistently with international law to the
extent the text is able to bear it. The dualist tradition is thus
upheld where consideration of international law
will defeat the statutory purpose of the legislation. However, as
discussed below, it seems that at least in the
context of immigration matters, legislators and decision makers have
demonstrated an acceptance of
international obligations as a mandatory consideration.
now narrows to the specific legislation relevant to this paper.
The context of this paper requires a two-tiered analysis of
legislation, vital to considering the position of Mr Zaoui in New
Zealand law. This is largely a consideration of statutory
process: the recognition of Mr Zaoui as a refugee with certain rights
and obligations, along with the parallel security concerns raised from
4.2 The Refugee Convention in New Zealand Law
The Immigration Amendment Act 1999 provides the first statutory incorporation of the Refugee Convention. (139) One of its stated purposes was to "create a statutory framework for determining refugee status under the Refugee Convention"; it thus scheduled the Refugee Convention and the amending protocol to the principal act, the Immigration Act 1987. However, there is no express provision incorporating these provisions into New Zealand domestic law. The Immigration Act does refer indirectly to the Refugee Convention though, requiring refugee status officers and the RSAA to act consistently with New Zealand's obligations under the Refugee Convention. Section 129D provides:
Refugee Convention to apply-
In carrying out their functions under
this Part, refugee status officers and the
Refugee Status Appeals Authority are to act in a manner that is
consistent with New
Zealand's obligations under the Refugee Convention.
(2) The text of the Refugee Convention is set out in the Sixth Schedule.
The Immigration Act also specifically incorporates the non-refoulement obligations New Zealand has to refugees, in Section 129X:
Prohibition on removal or deportation of refugee or refugee status
No person who has been recognised as a refugee in New Zealand or is
refugee status claimant may be removed or deported from New Zealand
Act, unless the provisions of Article 32.1 or Article 33.2 of the
allow the removal or deportation.
(2) In carrying out their functions under this Act in relation to a refugee or refugee status claimant, immigration officers must have regard to the provisions of this Part and of the Refugee Convention.
Two immediate issues arise from a reading of these provisions. Firstly, it is unclear whether "acting consistently" with the Refugee Convention has the same meaning as "acting in accordance" with the Refugee Convention. Similarly, section 129X(2) seems to imply that the Refugee Convention is simply one consideration of many an officer acting under Part VI of the Act must regard. The implications of closely following Tavita and the mandatory consideration approach are readily apparent in the context of non-refoulement.
At this point, it is suffice to note that Mr Zaoui passed two hurdles after his arrival to New Zealand. At the first instance, a refugee status officer for the Refugee Status Branch (RSB) determined that Mr Zaoui was not a refugee "within the meaning of Article 1A of the Refugee Convention", (140) but was "excluded from the protection of the Convention because of the application … of Article 1F". (141) Mr Zaoui then exercised his right of appeal to the RSAA, (142) which curiously does not have the same express terms of reference in determining refugee status as does the RSB: there is no express obligation to apply Article 1 of the Refugee Convention. (143) Haines comments on this point, noting that despite this and other systemic weaknesses, the RSAA has an internationally respected jurisprudence in refugee status determinations, and that "[g]enerally speaking, both the RSB and the RSAA directly apply at the domestic level an international Convention and draw on international jurisprudence." (144) Further, Haines notes that the RSAA relies extensively on international law, using the Vienna Convention for interpretation principles and international human rights conventions, customary international law, and State practice as its guiding provisions. (145) Mr Zaoui was in this way accorded a de novo hearing on appeal to the RSAA, which in carrying out its function recognised Mr Zaoui as a refugee. (146) The RSAA concluded: (147)
 The appellant has a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason if returned to Algeria.
 The Authority finds that the appellant is a refugee within the meaning of Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention. Refugee status is granted.
While this is again a rather oblique approach under the legislation, the Refugee Convention does not stipulate procedures for determining refugee status. The provisions of the legislation may not be express, but the RSAA is able to read the provisions consistently with relevant international obligations, ensuring New Zealand meets its initial protection obligations.
4.3 The Security Risk Certificate
As Mr Zaoui has been granted refugee status, he is entitled under the Immigration Act, section 129X not to be deported from New Zealand until his deportation is permitted in terms of the listed Articles in the Refugee Convention. This calls into question the process by which a refugee may be determined a danger to the security of New Zealand, a process governed by Part IVA of the Immigration Act 1987.
4.3.1 Part IVA
The Immigration Amendment Act 1999 introduced Part IVA into the Immigration Act 1987. This legislation was introduced on 20 August 1998 as the Immigration Amendment Bill 1998. It was presented under urgency to meet intelligence reports of the imminent arrival of boatloads of Chinese asylum seekers: as such, it sought to address perceived security threats to New Zealand and where necessary, quickly detain and remove or deport such persons from New Zealand. (148) This predictably encouraged vigorous debate in Parliament and amongst the submissions to the Select Committee, with a number of astute observations.
Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner made submissions
concerns about protecting the rights of individuals subject to the
security risk certificate process. (149)
Human Rights Commission (Commission) was particularly concerned that
the rights available to a person on
whom a security risk certificate was served "appear to be so restricted
that they raise significant human rights
concerns." (150) Questioning
the need for the proposed legislation at all, the Commission noted that
justice dictates that a person has a right to know the case against
them. Therefore, the subject of a security
risk certificate should be entitled to some indication of the extent
and nature of the evidence against them,
"particularly where it originates from their home country." (151) Similar to submissions
made to the Court in Mr
Zaoui's case recently, the Commission in 1998 argued that close regard
should be given to New Zealand's
international human rights obligations, including inter alia
those under the Convention Against Torture.
The Privacy Commissioner displayed similar unease with the proposed legislation: (152)
The proposal was of concern to me. Placing an individual in custody in reliance upon certain information, and using that same information in an expedited process to take significant and adverse decisions affecting that individual, while at the same time withholding that information from the individual and thereby denying him or her the opportunity to challenge or explain it, are fundamentally at variance with normal fair information practices.
Opposition Members of Parliament also vented some noteworthy criticisms. Matt Robson for the Alliance noted, "we will have to review this [legislation] if we are to be a society that actually believes in justice." (153) Mark Gosche for New Zealand Labour observed the implications of not achieving the correct balance in the process, stating, "[w]e cannot afford to make even one mistake, because that could put somebody's life at risk." (154) Perhaps the most famous observation though, is the oft-cited prescience of the then Opposition Minister of Immigration, Lianne Dalziel: (155)
I am frightened … that there will be people who will have a security risk certificate issued against them and they will not know why. They will be fighting against windmills. They will be unable to defend themselves against specific charges because they will not be informed as to what those charges are.
Parliament nevertheless passed the Bill, introducing Part IVA, which is headed "Special Procedures in Cases Involving Security Concerns", and sets out the procedures for the issuing of a national security risk certificate. The objects section of Part IVA recognises the role of the NZSIS in possessing classified information relevant to the administration of security concerns. (156) It then purports to balance the protection of such classified information with the fairness that "requires some protection for the rights of any individual affected by it." (157) Section 114B then sets out an extensive definition of "classified information". The definition is broad, protecting the interests of not only the NZSIS but also any government or agency of any government that does not consent to the disclosure of any shared information, and further it also protects international relations. (158) The Director is empowered to issue a security risk certificate to the Minister where he or she holds classified security information relating to a specific individual; is satisfied that the information is credible and relevant; and where that individual meets the "relevant security criterion". (159) The relevant refugee deportation criteria are either or both where the Minister certifies that the continued presence in this country of a person named in the certificate constitutes a threat to national security, (160) or where there is reason to believe that person is associated with or responsible for acts of terrorism. (161) In addition, the criteria must be taken together with the provisions of Article 33(2) of the Refugee Convention. (162)
The Minister is then entitled to make a preliminary decision to rely on the Certificate, in which case its existence is evidence of sufficient grounds for the conclusion or matter certified, subject only to a review by the Inspector-General. (163) A number of consequences flow from the Minister's decision to rely on the Certificate. The person identified in the Certificate must be arrested without warrant and all administrative processes, except those of the RSAA, are suspended. (164) However, that person may seek a review by the Inspector-General, and under such a review is entitled to representation, access to personal information (other than the classified information), and to make written submissions to the Inspector-General about the matter. (165) Crucially, no action may be taken to remove or deport the person during this process.
The review of the Inspector-General proceeds under section 114I of the Immigration Act, which is to be conducted with "all reasonable speed and diligence." (166) The express function of the Inspector-General is to determine whether:
(a) The information that led to the making of the certificate included information that was properly regarded as classified information; and
(b) That information is credible, having regard to the source or sources of the information and its nature, and is relevant to any security criterion; and
(c) When a relevant security criterion is applied to the person in light of that information, the person in question is properly covered by that criterion -
and thus whether the certificate was properly made or not.
In doing this, the Inspector-General may take into account any other relevant information not protected as "classified", and is further empowered by the relevant provisions of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996 (IGIS Act). The relevant provisions of the IGIS Act are imported by section 114I(6), and include having regard to security requirements; (167) access to security records; (168) the power to hear evidence in private, summons persons and hear evidence on oath; (169) while maintaining secrecy. (170) Further, section 19 of the IGIS Act directs to the Inspector-General to allow the person in question to be heard and represented by counsel and have others testify to their record, reliability, and character. (171) The review may include such evidence as the Inspector-General sees fit, whether admissible in a court of law or not, (172) and furthermore, shall be conducted in private. (173) A final point to note from the IGIS Act, is that the Inspector-General must ensure that "complaints relating to that intelligence and security agency are independently investigated." (174)
Following the review, the Inspector-General must advise the person involved, the Minister, and the Department of Labour of the decision, accompanied by reasons except to the extent such reasons would be likely to prejudice the classified information. (175) If the result of the review is that the Certificate is not confirmed, the person is released from custody immediately and normal immigration procedures resume. (176) Where the Certificate is confirmed, the Minister must "make a final decision within [three] working days whether to rely on the confirmed certificate …" and in doing so may "seek information from other sources and may consider matters other than the contents of the certificate." (177) Importantly, the Minister is not obliged to give any reasons for her or his decision. (178) The final option for a person reaching this stage of proceedings is a right of appeal on an erroneous point of law within three days of the decision of the Inspector-General, with leave of the Court of Appeal. (179)
The overall statutory intention of Part IVA is thus relatively clear. The Director issues a Certificate based on classified information and provides that to the Minister, who has a discretion whether to rely preliminarily on the Certificate. If the Minster does so, all other proceedings, bar the RSAA, are halted. (180) Assuming the person seeks a review within the statutory period, the person named in the Certificate is immune from deportation or removal procedures while the review is taking place. If the Inspector-General declines to confirm the Certificate, the person seeking the review is released and normal immigration procedures resume. Conversely, if the Inspector-General confirms the Certificate, the person may appeal to the Court of Appeal on a point of law within three days, while the Minister must make a final decision in the same period whether to rely on the Certificate. Again, if the Minister does not rely on the Certificate, the person is released to normal immigration processes; reliance on the Certificate by the Minister leads to formal removal or deportation procedures, subject to section 129X and the non-refoulement provisions. (181) The process entire purports to address the balance of the State interests of national security and classified information, with the interests of the individual to a fair trial and justice.
4.3.2 New Zealand Security Intelligence Act 1969
The Director, when performing her or his functions under Part IVA, operates under a certain definition of "security", which was relied on in the issuing of the Certificate. The New Zealand Security Intelligence Act 1969 defines security in the interpretation section, section 2, which states:
The protection of New Zealand from acts of espionage,
subversion, whether or not they are directed from or intended to be
The identification of foreign capabilities,
activities within or relating to New Zealand that impact on New
international well-being or economic well-being:
(c) The protection of New Zealand from activities within or relating to New Zealand that-- (i) Are influenced by any foreign organisation or any foreign person; and
(ii) Are clandestine or deceptive, or threaten the safety of any person; and
(iii) Impact adversely on New Zealand's international well-being or economic well-being:
(d) the prevention of any terrorist act and of any activity relating to the carrying out or facilitating of any terrorist act.
this definition identifies concerns of New Zealand's "international
well-being" or "economic well-being",
which achieves prominence when considering the "danger" to the
community required under Article 33(2). It is important to note that
the Director relied on this definition of security in issuing the
5.0 ANALYSIS OF THE PROCESS: THE CASE OF MR ZAOUI
There are several inter-related strands of analysis in the Certificate process, with several common themes. In the interests of clarity, the final part of this paper seeks to examine each thread, highlighting the tension between individual human rights and national security concerns in a post 9/11 environment. Mr Zaoui's presence in New Zealand and his case is forcing New Zealand's political and legal systems to confront and address the assertion of national security in terms of the individual rights of Mr Zaoui.
5.1 The Roles of the Inspector-General and Minister
It is important to note that the application of human rights in Mr Zaoui's case is not controversial. The Crown accepts that the Minister is indeed obliged to take into account New Zealand's international obligations in considering whether to rely on the Certificate. The main point of contention is the role of the Inspector-General in conducting the review and the relevance of international human rights considerations to that review. The question is at what stage or stages, and by whom, are Mr Zaoui's human rights accounted. The rights at issue are vital to the interests of Mr Zaoui: the protection from refoulement is the paramount principle of the Refugee Convention and critical to Mr Zaoui's protection from torture. A brief comparison of the roles of Inspector-General and Minister adds impetus to the argument that the Inspector-General reviews the Certificate consistently with international obligations.
The role of the Inspector-General is central to any decision relating to the validity of the Certificate, and plays a pivotal part in the outcome of Mr Zaoui's case. While the Supreme Court of New Zealand is currently considering the role of the Inspector-General in reviewing the Certificate against Mr Zaoui, some preliminary points can be made. Importantly, the Inspector-General has the experience and qualifications of a High Court judge. Regarding this point, the Inspector-General is required to conduct a quasi-judicial hearing, take into account any relevant information that does not of itself meet the definition of classified, and is obliged to observe natural justice by giving a reasoned decision. The importance of this adjudicative role is recognised in the objects provision of Part IVA, section 114A. Further, the Inspector-General is privy to vital sources of classified information, and is generally empowered to review the Certificate with some efficacy. The Inspector-General's role as a semi-judicial figure, the lack of time constraints, and the fact that the Inspector-General is the only person able to review all the information, make a strong case for Mr Zaoui to have his human rights considered at the review of the Certificate.
In contrast, the Minister's decision whether to rely on the Certificate is subject to severe restraints. The Minister is obliged to give a decision within three days of the Inspector-General's review of the Certificate (if indeed the review confirms the Certificate) and is not obliged to give reasons for any decision. The Minister is not able to access the classified information or the evidence or submissions provided by Mr Zaoui to the Inspector-General. Indeed, the Minister is not obliged to receive further evidence and representations on behalf of Mr Zaoui. It is difficult to see how the Minister will be able to balance Mr Zaoui's human rights with a confirmed Certificate that is based on classified information. The Minister's role appears to be confined to a political decision that is necessarily non-transparent.
5.2 The National Security Risk Certificate
The analysis of the Certificate process and its review below therefore focuses on the role of the Inspector-General. However, considerations of Mr Zaoui's human rights are equally applicable to the Minister in that they are legally enforceable.
5.2.1 Classified Information: Vagueness
The Certificate is based on classified information, protected by Part IVA. Therefore, the first and most obvious objection to the Certificate process is the broad terms of reference afforded to "classified". Indeed, the low threshold that the NZSIS uses to tag something as "classified security information" confounds Mr Zaoui's case. In the case of Mr Zaoui, the Director confirmed in the Certificate that, pursuant to sections 114C(4) and (6): (182)
(a) [Mr Zaoui's] continued presence in New Zealand constitutes a threat to national security in terms of section 72 of the Act; and
(b) There are reasonable grounds for regarding [Mr Zaoui] as a danger to the security of New Zealand in terms of Article 33.2 of the Refugee Convention (as defined in section 2 of the Act.
Significantly, the Certificate does not rely on any of the other security criteria listed in section 114C. Glaring in its omission, the Certificate did not assert that Mr Zaoui was a threat in terms of section 73(1) of the Act: that is, the Certificate made no assertions as to Mr Zaoui's danger as a terrorist or person with terrorist associations. Nor was he counted as a danger to the community on account of his previous convictions in France and Belgium. On perusal of the RSAA decision, neither of these omissions should be surprising, as the RSAA comprehensively dismissed these issues. Section 72 of the Act on the other hand is no more precise than the Minister asserting that the person named in the Certificate constitutes a threat to national security.
Seeking further information regarding the information used in issuing the Certificate, Mr Zaoui and counsel sought an unclassified summary of the allegations against Mr Zaoui and the classified information used, as far as possible without compromising the classified nature of that information. The Inspector-General, in an interlocutory decision of October 6 2003, declined to provide this, opining that the review of the Certificate was an "area where the Bill of Rights and ordinary rights of fairness do not apply." (183) Following court proceedings, the High Court ruled against the Crown contention that Mr Zaoui was not entitled to see a summary of the reasoning behind the Certificate. (184) The Director's summary of allegations subsequently provided to Mr Zaoui adequately demonstrates both the point of vagueness and the example, containing mostly information already dealt with comprehensively by the RSAA decision and some surprisingly innocuous claims. (185)
The first point of the Director's reasoning is the fact that Mr Zaoui entered New Zealand after attempting to destroy his false passport. (186) This appears to be an exercise of publicity, as it is well accepted under both the Refugee Convention and New Zealand's application of the Convention that refugees cannot be penalised for using false papers. The second allegation raises concerns that a home video filmed by Ahmed Zaoui "looked suspiciously like a 'casing' video". (187) The video is now freely available on the internet, (188) and the New Zealand Herald published a scathing response: (189)
The supposed evidence is jaw-dropping in its absurdity: not only does the man photograph himself in the video and repeatedly introduces himself by name to other tourists and locals during his travels, but the ostensible targets of terrorist action that he is "casing" are filmed for less then 15 second each. No police or other security forces are shown, nor are primary escape routes, secondary areas or routes of access and egress, or likely locations for bomb-planting sniping, or massed fire or grenade attacks. For the most part the video shows average people in post-communist Asian States (Laos and Vietnam) occupied in their daily routines as Zaoui details the wonders of local cuisine and landscapes.
A final example of the vagueness of the Certificate is perhaps best seen in the dramatic assertion in the summary: "Mr Zaoui is a foreign person." (190) These examples question the use of classified information in this context, particularly the providing legislation that allows a high level of ambiguity resulting in a person potentially "fighting windmills"
5.2.2 Classified Information: Human Rights and National Security
The Inspector-General's interlocutory decision of October 6 2003 also set out the proposed substantive procedure for the review of the Certificate in relation to Mr Zaoui. The Inspector-General held that in considering the propriety of the Certificate, it was not necessary to have regard to Mr Zaoui's human rights or the adverse consequences that deportation would have for Mr Zaoui. In the view of the Inspector-General, general issues of international human rights jurisprudence were "beside the point." Counsel for Mr Zaoui challenged this finding by way of judicial review, succeeding in the High Court, (191) the Court of Appeal, (192) and currently the Crown is continuing to oppose Mr Zaoui on this point in the Supreme Court. The extent of the review function is yet to be finally determined: Mr Zaoui contends that the review requires the Inspector-General to weigh Mr Zaoui's human rights, especially the right not to be exposed to death and torture, against the security interests of New Zealand; the Crown argues that the Inspector-General is limited to issues of security when determining whether the Certificate was properly made. The role of the Inspector-General discussed above at paragraph 5.1 indicates the compatibility of that role with human rights; the focus here is the need to balance those fundamental human rights with classified information and national security.
The basic premise of the argument that the Inspector-General take account of Mr Zaoui's human rights in deciding whether the Certificate was properly made is the implications of the Certificate being upheld. In other words, the consequences that Mr Zaoui faces if the Certificate is confirmed are such that these consequences must have a role in the decision making process. This view is not merely one of logic; it finds support in the legislation itself. Part IVA purports to balance the protection of classified information with the requirement that "fairness requires some protection for the rights of any individual affected by it." (193) The Act achieves this balance through the functions of the Inspector-General. (194) More specifically though, the Certificate asserts that Mr Zaoui is a risk to national security in terms of the Immigration Act, section 72, as listed in section 114C. This latter section, which lists the relevant security criteria, includes consideration of "reasonable grounds for regarding the person as a danger to the security of New Zealand, in terms of Article 33.2 of the Refugee Convention." (195) In making the Certificate, the Director relied on these grounds, (196) and therefore, the Inspector-General must include these grounds in the review.
This leads inevitably to the conclusion that Mr Zaoui's human rights are relevant to the propriety of the Certificate. The inclusion of the terms of Article 33(2) in the relevant security criteria has the effect of importing New Zealand's overall obligations under Article 33, as interpreted at international law. The Refugee Convention is explicitly mentioned: Mr Zaoui's danger to national security must be considered in light of New Zealand's obligations under that Convention. Indeed, "[i]t is difficult to comprehend a more direct way of importing these considerations into the statute." (197) In particular, Article 33 requires a balance between the seriousness of risk to national security with the adverse consequences of confirming the Certificate to Mr Zaoui. Tersely, the greater the risk to Mr Zaoui upon expulsion, the higher the risk to national security must be. Equally, it seems that the higher the risk to national security, the higher the importance of ensuring Mr Zaoui's human rights are protected. (198) The relevance of the Refugee Convention and other international considerations to is discussed more fully below, at paragraph 5.3.
5.2.3 Classified Information: a Comparison
The use of classified information in the context of Mr Zaoui's case invites enquiry into other areas of law that make use of similarly sensitive information. In particular, the analogous provisions in the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 also make use of a broad notion of classified information. (199) As with the Certificate process, the Terrorism Suppression Act authorises the Government to utilise "classified security information" in making its decision to designate terrorists. However, this Act goes somewhat further in protecting the rights of an individual held, establishing a procedure that meets some of the objections to the Certificate process. Section 33 of the Terrorism Suppression Act specifically allows judicial review relating to the making of a designation, providing opportunity for individuals to challenge their designations in Court. Further, while the Act does not allow the accused person to see classified information against them, it redresses this in two ways. Firstly, the Act expressly requires the Court to approve and release to the accused person a summary of the classified information used against them "… except to the extent that a summary of any particular part of the information would itself involve disclosure that would likely prejudice the interests referred to in section 32(3)." (200) Those interests referred to include the security or defence of New Zealand; international relations of New Zealand; the protection of information sources; the maintenance of law; and the safety of any person. Secondly, the Court may hear classified information in the absence of the accused, the accused's representative(s), and the public. (201) This may still attract the criticism of a lack of due process, thus leaving the Court in the uncomfortable position of not being able to explain fully any decision it makes.
To illustrate further, New Zealand does not go as far as other countries in protecting the rights of the accused in the context of national security, especially in the context of the Certificate process. Canada has implemented a similar approach to the Terrorism Suppression Act, with the judge authorised to view classified information without the designated party or counsel if the judge is of the opinion that the disclosure of the information would "injure national security or endanger the safety of any person." (202) A summary of information is released to the party without disclosing information that would "injure national security or endanger the safety of any person." (203) The United Kingdom (UK) goes further, creating special tribunals to consider classified evidence and allowing special advocates to represent the accused's interests when classified information is being heard. The role of the special advocates is to represent the interests of the applicant, but they are not instructed by the applicant, and nor may they "disclose any part of the [classified information] to those whom they represent." (204) The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (UK) provides an example, which places hearings before a Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). (205) This Commission is made up of at least three members, at least one of whom holds or has held high judicial office and one of whom has experience in immigration matters. (206) Where the SIAC considers classified information supporting a decision to issue an equivalent security risk certificate, it may appoint the Attorney-General to represent the interests of the certificate holder. (207)
Comparing the analogous procedures under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 and Part IVA of the Immigration Act 1987 illumines the potential inadequacies of legislation rushed through Parliament under urgency. The Terrorism Suppression Act, while enacted under a different Government, was considered fully and adopted a number of changes as recommended via the thorough submissions process, resulting in a transparency more palatable to those critics of the use of classified information. (208) Indeed, the procedure under the Terrorism Suppression Act conceivably resolves two of the main issues in Mr Zaoui's case: the provision of a summary of classified information and a judicial review option over the review of the Inspector-General. These two issues have resulted in much legal wrangling in Mr Zaoui's case, resolved successfully in Mr Zaoui's favour. As noted above, it took a High Court ruling in favour of Mr Zaoui for the Director to issue a summary of the allegations and reasoning of the Certificate. Further, counsel for Mr Zaoui and the Crown are currently arguing before the Supreme Court of New Zealand what the precise aegis of the Inspector-General is and the scope of the review of the Certificate. It therefore seems disingenuous for the current Labour Government to argue the ambiguities of the Inspector-General's role in reviewing the Certificate to the Supreme Court in an effort to clarify the law when this Government introduced measures in the context of terrorism that provide precisely the clarification sought. The Human Rights Commission makes a similar point, recalling that "the position of the Inspector-General should be created for the purpose of assisting the responsible Minster or Ministers in ensuring that the activities of the NZSIS comply with the law and are consistent with human rights." (209) The Crown has neglected the clarity proffered by Parliament and allowed both of these ambiguities in the legislation to defeat the purpose of Part IVA, to "ensure that persons covered by this Act who pose a security risk can where necessary be effectively and quickly detained and removed or deported from New Zealand." (210)
5.3 The Role and Impact of International Law
As discussed above with respect to human rights, section 114C imports the obligations of Article 33 of the Refugee Convention. This raises questions of interpretation of New Zealand's obligations under Article 33 of the Refugee Convention with respect to Mr Zaoui and the relevance of broader considerations of international law to Mr Zaoui's case. Each of these is considered in turn.
5.3.1 "Danger" to National Security
The Court of Appeal decision establishes a judicial approach willing to adhere to international jurisprudence in this matter, and thus the discussion above in paragraph 3.1.3 is relevant to this section. The Court takes as its starting point the ordinary meaning of the phrase "reasonable grounds for regarding [a person] as a danger to the security of New Zealand", having found that the meaning of this phrase is "designed to conform with the meaning it bears under the Refugee Convention." (211) Under Article 31(3) of the Vienna Convention, subsequent agreement and State practice informs the interpretation of treaties. The important point to take from both the discussion above on non-refoulement and the Court of Appeal judgment is the approach to balancing the danger Mr Zaoui poses to the security of New Zealand and his human rights. The weight of evidence indicates that Article 33(2) must be interpreted restrictively: there must be a serious risk to national security, "serious enough to justify frustrating the whole purpose of the Refugee Convention by sending a person back to persecution." (212) Thus, under the Immigration Act and the Refugee Convention, Mr Zaoui must meet a high threshold to be excluded from the protection of the Refugee Convention:
· Mr Zaoui must constitute a present danger to New Zealand, that is, the danger to New Zealand must be prospective in nature;
· While States enjoy a "wide margin of appreciation" in relation to matters of national security, the decision to deport Mr Zaoui must be necessary and proportionate in all the circumstances. This follows the reasoning on this point found in Chahal and Suresh. The Supreme Court in Suresh equated "danger to security" with "serious threat to security": (213)
threat must be 'serious', in the sense that it must be grounded on
suspicion based on evidence and in the sense that the threatened harm
must be substantial
rather than negligible.
· Any discretion as to matters of national security must include "reasonable grounds" to assert that Mr Zaoui is a danger to New Zealand, implying that New Zealand must not act arbitrarily or capriciously in this respect. This challenges the reasoning set out in the summary of allegations provided by the Director, which effectively states that Mr Zaoui's threat to national security is the "danger" posed to New Zealand's reputation in the eyes of other "like-minded" countries if he were permitted to stay. (214) Concerns of New Zealand's reputation can only be relevant where such concerns stray into the realm of national security that they could fairly be considered a danger to national security. (215) Further, this is relevant to the standard of proof required in justifying the deportation of Mr Zaoui. The Human Rights Commission notes the high standard of proof required, quoting Jerome CJ: "[i]n light of the potential danger faced by such a claimant, the Board must base its decision … only on clear and convincing evidence not simply on suspicion and speculation." (216) Mr Zaoui, who risks a return to persecution, is entitled to the best evidence in assessing the validity of the Certificate.
The approach used when balancing the risk Mr Zaoui faces upon expulsion and his "menace to society" thus requires a test of proportionality. (217) The individual circumstances of Mr Zaoui demands consideration be given to factors such as the seriousness of danger Mr Zaoui poses to New Zealand; the imminence and likelihood of that danger being realised; whether the removal of Mr Zaoui would significantly alleviate the danger; the nature and seriousness of the risk to Mr Zaoui from refoulement; and whether other options are available consistent with the prohibition of refoulement, such as return to a safe third country. (218) Thus far, the process surrounding Mr Zaoui has only established that he faces a real risk of persecution, torture, or even death if returned to Algeria.
Hathaway and Harvey however offer an alternative vision to this exercise of balancing materially discrete issues. (219) In moving away from the premise that there are some forms of individual harm that can outweigh national security interests, they avoid the risk of trivializing the significance of national security and the concomitant dilution of refoulement protection. They argue a correctly narrow interpretation of Article 33(2) negates the need to balance the individual rights of the person in question. In other words, the high threshold contemplated in Article 33(2) would always trump purely individuated interests. This alternative approach avoids inadvertently legitimating an "unwarranted extension of the grounds for refoulement." (220) While the argument offered by Hathaway and Harvey is compelling, the legal reality is that international jurisprudence applies a balancing test when considering Article 33.
The consideration of Mr Zaoui's danger to New Zealand's national security raises a further conflict: the tension between the Article 1F finding of the RSAA that Mr Zaoui is not excluded from the Refugee Convention, and the practical effect of the Certificate seeking his deportation as a considered threat under Article 33(2). This tension reveals itself in two ways. Firstly, the relationship between Article 1F and Article 33(2) requires some analysis. While these two Articles appear to have some overlap in terms of content, a textual reading delimits the respective scope of each. The exclusion clauses in Article 1F define those categories of persons excluded from refugee protection. Persons within the scope of this Article are not refugees and may not benefit from the protection offered under the Refugee Convention. (221) The focus of Article 33(2) in contrast allows States to defend their most basic interests of safety and security from a refugee within its jurisdiction. Contrary to excludable persons under Article 1F, Article 33(2) applies to refugees who in principle have a right to protection, thus requiring restrictive application. The former contemplates past criminal conduct while the latter is interested in current security. It is essential to note that the Article 33(2) threshold is higher than that of Article 1F: the evidentiary grounds for Article 33(2) are much higher than the "serious reasons" threshold in Article 1F. (222) This is also intuitive: once a putative refugee has passed the hurdle of Article 1F, the protection of the Refugee Convention is crystallized. Article 33(2) then requires the receiving country to justify rescinding the primary protection from refoulement afforded to the refugee. Thus, if the conduct of Mr Zaoui was not grave enough to exclude him from the protection of the Refugee Convention by the operation of the exclusion clauses, it is unlikely he will satisfy the higher threshold of Article 33(2).
The second way the Zaoui case reveals tension between the findings of the RSAA and the Certificate is the concern that the RSAA was excluded from considering the classified information held by the NZSIS when making its determination of Mr Zaoui's refugee appeal. While the two Articles have distinct purposes, there is some overlap in the actions considered, particularly as past criminal conduct may be relevant to future risk. In concluding that Mr Zaoui could not be excluded under Article 1F, the RSAA considered and rejected as probative evidence his Algerian convictions; the decisions declining him refugee status in Belgium; the Belgian and French convictions; the deportation from Switzerland; non-classified information provided by the SIS; media reports linking Mr Zaoui to various terrorist groups; and an alleged admission as to membership of a terrorist organisation by Mr Zaoui on arrival in New Zealand. The Director nevertheless used most of these matters as justification for issuing the Certificate on the basis of the public record and classified information relating to background issues of that public record. (223) Thus, the classified information is relevant at least in part to Mr Zaoui's previous overseas convictions; the prior actions of Mr Zaoui are relevant to his future or imminent risk to national security as required in Article 33(2). However, Article 1F determines whether those past actions exclude a person from obtaining the benefit of non-refoulement. A lack of relevant information at this stage therefore frustrates the purpose of Article 1F and its proper relationship with Article 33(2). It provides the potential for the review of the Certificate to be used as a "back-door method" to challenge the RSAA grant of refugee status to Mr Zaoui. Indeed, the Certificate appears to be considering information properly the domain of Article 1F and the RSAA. While the Court of Appeal sees this as being remedied by the higher threshold of Article 33(2), (224) the criticism holds with respect to both the function of the RSAA and the application of Article 1F. It creates the situation where although the RSAA decision on Article 1F is binding upon the Inspector-General, the higher threshold of Article 33(2) may still be satisfied when the Inspector-General considers the classified information beyond the factual findings of the RSAA. (225) Two decisions are made on the same conduct: one with the benefits of transparency yet limited to the public record; the other with the advantage of all available information paired with the scepticism surrounding the use of classified information. Mr Zaoui is in the unfortunate position of having the RSAA comprehensively dealing with his past and recognising his status as a refugee, while the Certificate and review are proceeding on the basis that classified information regarding this same past potentially regard Mr Zaoui's risk to national security as serious enough to return him to a place of persecution. This provides some support for the suggestion that the RSAA should be empowered to view classified information in some form, such as a meaningful summary of any relevant classified information. If there is indeed classified information that meets the high threshold of Article 33(2) concerning Mr Zaoui's past conduct as determinative of his future threat, he should not properly have passed the lower hurdle of Article 1F.
5.3.2 Other Considerations of International Law
The starting point for considering the relevance of international law to Mr Zaoui's case is the statutory wording. As already discussed, there is explicit reference to Article 33 of the Refugee Convention, importing its definition at international law into the domestic process and thus its relevance to the review by the Inspector-General. Glazebrook J, at paragraph 126 of the Court of Appeal judgment takes this analysis a significant step further. Citing the Pilots Association case, Glazebrook J observes that "there is a presumption that, so far as its wording allows, legislation should be read consistently with New Zealand's international obligations." While no conclusion is offered and is instead left as a matter for the Inspector-General to assess in the course of his review, it offers an insight into the willingness of the courts to apply relevant international law. This latitude afforded to the Inspector-General therefore does not insulate the review from rightly regarding Mr Zaoui's human rights. Indeed, the Court appears to demonstrate a shrewd awareness of both the role of the Inspector-General and the ability of the Court of Appeal to revisit the review on an erroneous point of law. (226) The Court seems to be indicating to the Inspector-General that the review of the Certificate should sit conformably with any relevant international obligations.
This is not a controversial proposition. Under the review procedure, Mr Zaoui is left with "no choice but to place blind trust in the Inspector-General's performance of his statutory function." (227) Salmon and Harrison JJ described the relationship between Mr Zaoui and the Inspector-General as "one of complete reliance in this context." (228) Again, the Court is indicating that the role of the Inspector-General is at least in part guardian of Mr Zaoui's human rights, perhaps cognizant of the Inspector-General's former role as a High Court judge. The Inspector-General indeed has high expectations to fulfill: to the Court; the public; and not least Mr Zaoui.
Relevant international law thus has a potential role to play in the assertion of Mr Zaoui's human rights in a number of legally important ways:
· The quality and content of non-refoulement under Article 33 is informed by the equivalent provisions found in other international treaties such as the CAT and ICCPR. Indeed, it is a small step from the finding that the security criteria relating to Mr Zaoui is designed to conform with the meaning given to it under the Refugee Convention to the acceptance that applying the principle fairly requires reference to other relevant treaties. Consideration of the rights under these treaties is relevant to the construction and interpretation of Article 33. Mr Zaoui is specifically at risk of torture if refouled to Algeria; the convergence of non-refoulement in these provisions in the context of torture is clear. Therefore, it is not sufficient to conduct a balancing exercise with security concerns as the non-refoulement provisions in the ICCPR and CAT are absolute. While the Suresh decision is authority for the proposition that this balancing may be appropriate in limited circumstances relating to refugees, it is difficult to find the rationale for the decision. The Court in Suresh explicitly accepted that its decision did not conform to settled international law, and regardless, Mr Zaoui presents no risk as a terrorist.
· At a minimum, relevant human rights are a mandatory relevant consideration as suggested in Tavita and subsequently applied in the immigration context. Again, this presents the opportunity for obligations under instruments such as the CAT to be balanced with other competing interests such as the protection of New Zealand's international reputation. However, the Court of Appeal has indicated that a presumption of consistency would be more appropriate in these circumstances. The germane provisions in the context of Mr Zaoui's contemplated return to torture are binding at international and domestic level; are fundamentally important human rights; and compete with a legislative framework that at best is vague enough to demand their inclusion. Rather than undermining the purpose of Part IVA, the protections provided by the CAT and ICCPR address the concern that "fairness requires some protection for the rights" of Mr Zaoui.
· Perhaps most importantly, is the trend of the judiciary to treat customary international law as part of the common law of New Zealand. (229) As discussed above, the principle of non-refoulement has attained this status. In this way, the non-refoulement protection can properly be regarded as part of New Zealand law and the Court of Appeal recognises this.
· Finally, under both the CAT and ICCPR, Mr Zaoui may lodge a complaint to a judicial body that has the power to order, by way of interim relief, that Mr Zaoui not be deported from the host country.
5.3.3 A Safe Third Country?
Mr Zaoui has engaged the protection obligations of New Zealand. Therefore, the legality of any return to a safe third country is dependant on the foreseeable risk of direct or indirect refoulement. New Zealand maintains this responsibility for Mr Zaoui's safety in terms of refoulement whether the option of returning Mr Zaoui is pursued or not. Failure to find a safe third country will effectively provide Mr Zaoui with a right of presence in New Zealand, precluding the potential of condemning Mr Zaoui to a life as an orbit refugee. Jean-Francois Durieux captures this eloquently: "[f]or each refugee in this world, there must be one country that offers protection." (230)
Media reports over Mr Zaoui's potential removal have consistently asserted that upon confirmation of the Certificate, he will be removed to his last port of call: Vietnam. The former and current Minister subsequently affirmed this. As with Australia and Nauru, this would surely test the limits of the concept of "safe". Vietnam is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention; has a poor human rights record; (231) and Mr Zaoui has no material connection to Vietnam. The Minister admits that before deciding to rely on a confirmed certificate, there must be a safe third country willing to accept Mr Zaoui. Again, the outcome must be one that conforms at the very least with the non-refoulement obligations at international and domestic law.
Mr Zaoui, security threat or not, is at the centre of a legal process that is at best ambiguous, at worst deficient. In this, the Government and Mr Zaoui find common ground: both sides find themselves in untenable positions. Indeed, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, implicitly recognises this, indicating that the Certificate process will be reviewed at the conclusion of Mr Zaoui's case. The final part of this paper attempts to summarise the findings discussed above and place those findings in the broader context of refugee protection.
6.1 Specific Findings
Mr Zaoui's status as a refugee was recognised by the RSAA, which dealt comprehensively and conclusively rebutted allegations surrounding Mr Zaoui in the public domain. As a refugee, he is protected from refoulement in terms of Article 33 of the Refugee Convention. Further, Mr Zaoui finds additional protection mechanisms in the ICCPR and the CAT, which operate to prevent his refoulement to a place of torture. The crux of Mr Zaoui's case, in light of these protections, is therefore whether his expulsion from New Zealand is justifiable based on the Certificate issued against him by the Director. Thus, the allegations of the Director and the pending review of those allegations and reasoning behind them by the Inspector-General take centre-stage in the Certificate process.
The allegations of fact relied on by the Director discussed above cover three basic areas. Firstly, a perusal of the content of the video reveals it as a modestly amateur tourist home video. Given that it was taken on the way to claiming refugee status in New Zealand, it is nonsensical to consider otherwise. Secondly, the Director relied on the NZSISA definition of security, and following this was only able to repeat allegations already made in the public domain. Further, the assertion that Mr Zaoui as a foreign person will be influenced by other foreign persons, applies to most travellers arriving in this country. The ambit of the security definition and its related classified information adequately demonstrates the notorious vagueness in application. Thirdly, the remaining allegations are entirely sourced in the public domain. The Director explicitly accepts that this classified information does no more than provide a background to these public facts. Astoundingly, this leaves "one point of security concern, relating to the veracity of an answer Mr Zaoui gave, which cannot be disclosed without compromising classified security information which cannot be divulged." (232)
That the Director can issue a Certificate that is prima facie wholly inadequate highlights the importance of the role of the Inspector-General in upholding the rights of Mr Zaoui. This paper argues that it is for the Inspector-General to apply the international human rights of Mr Zaoui, both as an intuitive and legal proposition. Thus, in considering whether the Certificate was properly made, the Inspector-General must answer whether the threshold in Article 33(2) has been met. The threshold is high: Mr Zaoui must present some serious danger to New Zealand. As Mr Zaoui risks deportation either directly or indirectly to torture, the national security interests must be still more compelling. It would be exceptional, indeed would require Mr Zaoui's involvement in terrorist activity or organizations, for anyone to lawfully be deported from New Zealand in these circumstances. Suresh provides the only legal basis for a return to torture, and therefore must be interpreted narrowly. Thus, Suresh is of limited application to the present circumstances: Mr Zaoui is not a terrorist: the RSAA concluded this and nor did the Director make any assertions or allegations to the contrary.
The balance of the Director's reasoning appears to rely on assuring "like-minded" countries that New Zealand does not have lower levels of security concerns. (233) This can also be dealt with curtly. New Zealand, like other like-minded Western countries, has strict immigration and entry policies patrolled rigorously at the border and beyond. On the RSAA's statistics, those who are able to apply for refuge status face a 1 in 5 chance of success. Further, no other country has treated Mr Zaoui as harshly as his first 10 months of solitary incarceration in New Zealand. It is not apparent how this reasoning adds to the legal basis of returning Mr Zaoui to a place of torture. (234)
It seems clear that the threshold for Mr Zaoui's refoulement cannot be met on the information available, and the Director's reasoning provides little to suppose this will change upon review. The Full Supreme Court of New Zealand implicitly supports this, where the Solicitor-General for the Crown in Mr Zaoui's successful bail hearing acknowledged that the concerns surrounding Mr Zaoui "did not include concerns about violence in New Zealand as a result of activities by Mr Zaoui." (235) The concerns of the Crown in opposing bail were rather those submitted by the Director, and the Crown agreed this did not amount to a risk serious enough to deny bail. The Full Supreme Court observed of the reasoning of the Director: (236)
The security risks identified are essentially those associated with leading and participating in criminal activities in relation to Algerian politics and encouraging the perception that New Zealand is a safe haven for those intending to undertake similar activities.
Again, the Court is demonstrating oblique disapproval of the Certificate process. Its final statement in the reasoning of the granting bail, essentially suggests that any future risk would be better dealt with under "breaches of the criminal law including the Terrorism Suppression Act." (237) The above leads to an inescapable conclusion: Mr Zaoui is protected from refoulement, both in terms of the balancing exercise of Article 33 of the Refugee Convention and the guarantees of the ICCPR and CAT.
6.2 Options to Progress
A preliminary point to note is that the Minister can choose at any time to discontinue reliance on the Certificate. (238) However, it seems clear that Mr Zaoui's case will be the one and only time the security risk certificate process will be used, and this to its conclusion. Indeed, Part IVA of the Immigration Act 1987 will be reviewed at the conclusion of Mr Zaoui's case. One potential benefit to New Zealand from the Certificate process is that this review can now proceed with the realities and complexities of assertions of national security in mind. Mr Zaoui's experience demands a response from New Zealand that produces a robust, transparent system, with built in checks and balances in a realistic time frame. The Terrorism Suppression Act offers alternative procedures that may well be applicable in this regard. Indeed, Mr Zaoui would have been afforded more rights had he been designated a terrorist; an observation that invites close scrutiny of New Zealand's treatment of a recognised refugee. (239)
This is reminiscent of the concern of the Human Rights Commission in 1998 that Part IVA is unnecessary. The Certificate procedure has been used once since its inception in 1999, and as such can conceivably be regarded as a futile exercise. The Terrorism Suppression Act supersedes the role of the Certificate process with respect to designated terrorists and this could arguably extend to cases of immigration security concern. Removal of the Certificate proceedings to the Terrorism Suppression Act potentially meets a number of fundamental concerns raised in this paper.
Importantly, it places matters squarely in the jurisdiction of the Courts. Not only does this meet issues of treatment of classified information, transparency, and the upholding of fundamental human rights, it redresses the mammoth job facing a single retired High Court judge in the form of Inspector-General conducting the review. The review of the Certificate will inevitably involve a lengthy quasi-judicial hearing. As it is a process discrete from the RSAA, the Inspector-General can expect to hear all the evidence that was presented to this body. It should be recalled that the RSAA, with a panel of three and the benefit of research and library staff, took six months to produce the 223-page decision recognising Mr Zaoui's refugee status. In addition, the Inspector-General must weigh this with the classified information from the NZSIS, a prospect that will surely prompt counsel for Mr Zaoui to respond with more evidence including witness testimony as to Mr Zaoui's character and expert testimony as to the past and present circumstances of Mr Zaoui. All possible avenues of the Director's "background" classified information will be met in Mr Zaoui's defence. The point to take from this is that it is difficult to see how one retired High Court judge can meaningfully achieve this task in a realistic time frame. The role of the Minister in having three days in which to decide whether to rely on a confirmed certificate is subject to similar criticism. As with the Terrorism Suppression Act, Canada, and the Commissions in the UK, this task should fall to the judiciary who are adequately resourced and empowered to meet the challenge of balancing security concerns with human rights.
6.3 A Convergence of Interests
Mr Zaoui's presence in New Zealand has challenged this country's humanitarian ideals and the way power is wielded over the powerless. The Zaoui case demonstrates the stalemate between an individual right to seek asylum and a State right to defend its borders and the realities of "balancing" sovereignty with responsibility. The role of the law, both domestic and especially international, is found in and bound by this reality. At an international level, the malleability of law required for agreement allows States to pursue particular agendas beyond the purview of sanction; national interests provide a trump card for sovereignty. Indeed, Hathaway notes that States "have proved assiduously resistant to assuming obligations viewed as inconsistent with their own national interests". (240) It is thus vital to identify areas of interest convergence, allowing a durable solution for refugees like Mr Zaoui while maintaining a politically satisfying outcome for sovereign powers such as New Zealand. This is the challenge presented by Mr Zaoui, a challenge that is yet to be met. New Zealand, as with other "like-minded" countries, appears committed to a "pattern of defensive strategies designed to avoid legal responsibility toward involuntary migrants." (241)
It is clear there are many crucial areas of converging interests discussed above. Internationally, there is a convergence of refugee law and human rights law. In particular, general obligations under international human rights treaties such as the ICCPR and the CAT inform the level of obligations required under the Refugee Convention. Human rights law is evolving into an understanding of "fundamental human rights" that are available and enforceable to all people, and refugee protection is best placed in this legal framework. This leads to the next important convergence: that of domestic law and human rights law. One of the functions of the court is to protect the harm the powerful inflict on the weak. The courts are imbued with the primacy of human rights and provide this protection with increasing reference to international human rights jurisprudence. This will only gain momentum as principles such as non-refoulement are accepted as customary international law and therefore part of the common law of New Zealand. Importantly, the relevance of international human rights in domestic courts is also in the interests of the Crown and Parliament: the Crown that enters contractual obligations on behalf of New Zealand and Parliament that legislates those obligations. Indeed, the courts are obliged to assume this is something more than mere "window dressing."
there is still a "protection gap" between international refugee law and
the political interests of
States. (242) The gap remains
poised in the delicacy of compromise of a Refugee Convention absent a
asylum that allows a discourse of altruism without meaningful
protection. While it is in New Zealand's
treasured human rights advocacy interests to accord Mr Zaoui his basic
human rights, the Government finds
itself between the rock and hard place of affording those rights to a
person consistently labelled a threat to
New Zealand's national security. Mr Zaoui proves the bleak realities of
refugee protection in the current
climate; the mantra of classified security information is given more
political weight than an individual's human
rights. Thus, the rhetoric of human rights is more expedient than the
practice in a process in dire need of
demystifying and dismantling. For New Zealand to maintain its leading
role in human rights, to stand out
against the tale of international apostasy of refugee protection, Mr
Zaoui's case must remain unique. It is in
New Zealand's interests, legally and politically, to return the
examination of classified information and the
protection of individuals to the courts, providing the strong
procedural safeguards absent in Mr Zaoui's case. "Everyone is quick to
blame the alien": (243) Mr
Zaoui is a refugee protected in law and the hope remains that
the conclusion of Mr Zaoui's case demonstrates the misplaced truth of
1. For detailed background information see Refugee Appeal No. 74540. See also S Manning, Y Ryan, & K Small, I Almost Forgot About the Moon (2004).
2. Refugee Convention, Art 1F(b)
3. Refugee Appeal No. 74540, para 979.
4. Immigration Act 1987, s 114D(1)
5. Zaoui v Attorney-General  1 NZLR 577
6. J E Smith, New Zealand's Anti-Terrorism Campaign: Balancing Civil Liberties, National Security, and International Responsibilities" http://www.fulbright.co.nz
7. G Goodwin-Gill, Editorial: "Refugees and Security", (2000) 12 IJRL 4, who notes that "[p]eople will continue to move, many in flight from intolerable conditions, from drought and famine, from threats to life and liberty …"
8. A Helton, The Price of Indifference (2002) 120.
10. Ibid, 15.
11. H Stacy, "Relational Sovereignty" (2003) 55 Stan LR 2029.
12. 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14.
13. M Crock, "The Refugees Convention at 50: Mid-life Crisis or Terminal Inadequacy? An Australian Perspective" in S Kneebone (Ed), The Refugee Convention 50 Years On (2003) 48.
14. States have not accepted a duty to grant asylum: G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law 88.
15. M C Tsai, "Globalization and Conditionality: Two Sides of the Sovereignty Coin" (2000) 31 L & Pol'y in Int'l Bus 1317.
16. A van Staden & H Vollard, "The Erosion of State Sovereignty: Towards a Post-territorial World?", in G Kreijen (Ed), State, Sovereignty, and International Governance (2002) 165, 169.
17. G Goodwin-Gill, Editorial: "Refugees and Security", (2000) 12 IJRL 1.
18. A C Helton, The Price of Indifference (2003) 7.
19. N Nathwani, Rethinking Refugee Law (2003) 39. See also G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996) 252.
20. J C Morris, "The Spaces In Between: American and Australian Interdiction Policies and their Implications for the Refugee Protection Regime" (2003) 21 Refuge 51.
21. Ibid, 52.
22. J F Durieux & J McAdam, "Non-Refoulement through Time: The Case for a Derogation Clause to the Refugee Convention in Mass Influx Emergencies" (2004) 16 IJRL 4.
23. J C Hathaway, "Refugee Rights Are Not Negotiable" (2000) GILJ 481, 482.
24. See R P G Haines, The Legal Condition of Refugees in New Zealand (1995) 1.
25. The 1967 Protocol removed the temporal and geographical limits of the 1951 Convention.
26. In this paper, the Convention and Protocol will be referred to as "the Refugee Convention".
27. V Türk & F Nicholson, "Refugee Protection in International Law: an Overall Perspective" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 3.
28. R P G Haines, The Legal Condition of Refugees in New Zealand (1995) 38.
29. Refugee Convention, Art 1A.
30. This concise definition is nonetheless rather dense when considering the number and quality of the terms that are subject to considerable judicial interpretation, for example in the decisions of the RSAA. As Mr Zaoui is a recognised refugee, this need only be noted in passing: the point to take is that "refugee" has a verifiable definition. For an extensive treatment on the definition of refugees, see J C Hathaway, The Law of Refugee Status (1991).
31. R Haines, "International Law and Refugees in New Zealand"  NZLRev 119.
32. For example, the RSAA approved 19.5% of the refugee applications in the year 2002/03, the second highest approval rate in the last 15 years: http://www.refugee.org.nz/Stats/stats.htm#Table%203
33. Refugee Convention, Art 1F. The exclusion clause assumes importance to this discussion when considering exceptions to non-refoulement. See below para 5.3.1.
34. G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996) 1-2.
35. Hathaway notes the growth of state power during the 20th century and the resulting policies seeking to maximize international law to the advantage of states. See Hathaway, above note 30, 1-2.
36. M Crock, "In the wake of the Tampa: Conflicting Visions of International Refugee Law in the Management of Refugee Flows" (2003) 12 Pac Rim L & Pol'y J 49, 54.
37. M Crock & B Saul, Future Seekers (2002) 4, quoting M Einffeld, former Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.
38. This point is also made in R v Uxbridge Magistrate's Court and Another, ex parte Adimi  Imm AR 484.
39. M Gibney, "Certain Violence, Uncertain Protection" in D Joly (Ed), Global Changes in Asylum Regimes (2002) ch 1.
40. Refugee Convention, Art 31.
41. Refugee Convention, Art 32.
42. Refugee Convention, Art 33.
43. Ruddock v Ibrahim (2000) 204 CLR 1, 45. See also Ruddock v Vadarlis  FCA 1329 per French J at para 193: "The power to determine who may come into Australia is so central to its sovereignty that it is not supposed that the Government of the nation would lack the power conferred on it directly by the Constitution, the ability to prevent people not part of the Australian community, from entering." On this point see R Petrowicz, "The Case of the MV Tampa: State and Refugee Rights Collide at Sea" (2001) 76 ALJ 12, 14.
44. EXCOM Conclusion 85, para 21(f). See also EXCOM Conclusion 22, para 57(2), in http://www.unhcr.ch It should be emphasised that this policy of the UNHCR is not legally binding: saying that states should grant asylum is not akin to saying that states are obliged to grant asylum.
45. G Thom, "Human Rights, Refugees and the MV Tampa Crisis", (2002) 13 PLR 110, 111.
46. Refugee Convention, Art 31(2): "…restrictions shall only be applied until their status in the country is regularised or they obtain admission into another country."
47. P Mathew, "Legal Issues Concerning Interception"  Georgetown Imm LJ 221, 237. On this point and a more general treatment on the application of Article 31, see G Goodwin-Gill, "Article 31 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: non-penalization, detention, and protection" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 185, 196.
48. Refugee Convention, Art 32(1): "The Contracting States shall not expel a refugee lawfully on their territory save on the grounds of national security or public order."
49. Mathew, op cit, above n 43, 239.
50. A Grahl-Madsen, The Status of Refugees in International Law (Vol II, 1972) 436-7. See also EXCOM Conclusion No 7 (1977).
51. Mathew, op cit, above n 43, 241.
52. Australia's "Pacific Solution" is a good example of this: most of the refugees transferred to detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea have ended up back at their original destination: Australia. New Zealand resolved the stalemate for some 131 refugees from those rescued by the Tampa. See Oxfam, "Adrift in the Pacific: The Implications of Australia's Pacific Refugee Solution", (2002) http://www.caa.org.au/campaigns/refugees/pacificsolution/index.html
53. G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996) 117.
54. P Mathew, "'The Tampa Issue': 13(2) Public Law Review (June 2002)" (2002) 23 Adelaide LR 375, 377.
55. See Goodwin-Gill, above n 51.
56. S Taylor, "Australia's Safe Third Country Provisions: Their Impact on Australia's Fulfilment of Its Non-Refoulement Obligations" (1996) 15 U Tas LR 196, 199.
57. K Walker, "Defending the 1951 Convention Definition of Refugee" (2003) 17 Georgetown Imm LJ 583, 597.
58. Ibid, 119-120. See also J
"Defining the Parameters of the Non-refoulement Principle"
59. E Lauterpacht (Sir) & D Bethlehem, "The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 87, 135-8.
60. Goodwin-Gill, above n 51, 139.
61. For a comparison of Article 1F and Article 33(2) see 5.3.1 below.
62. The non-derogable nature of non-refoulement is supported by numerous EXCOM Conclusions, for example EXCOM Conclusion No. 79 (1996). See E Lauterpacht (Sir) & D Bethlehem, "The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 87, 107.
63. E Lauterpacht (Sir) & D Bethlehem, "The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 87, 107.
64. Refugee Convention, Preamble.
65. A Eggli, Mass Refugee Influx and the Limits of Public International Law (2002) 13.
66. J Fitzpatrick, "Speaking Law to Power: The War Against Terrorism and Human Rights" (2003) 14 EJIL 241, 242.
67. D Weissbrodt & I Hortreiter, "The Principle of Non-Refoulement: Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Comparison with the Non-Refoulement provisions of other international human rights treaties" (1999) 5 Buff HRLRev 1, 43.
68. R Piotrowicz & Dr C van Eck, "Subsidiary Protection and Primary Rights" (2004) 53 ICLQ 107, 121.
69. G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996) 124.
70. D J Miller, "Holding States to their Convention Obligations: the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the Need for a Broad Interpretation of State Action" (2003) Winter Georgetown Imm LJ 299, 303.
71. See Chahal v United Kingdom  ECtHR 54.
72. M J Gibney, "The State of Asylum: Democratisation, Judicialisation and Evolution of Refugee Policy" in S Kneebone (Ed), The Refugee Convention 50 Years On (2003) 18, 40.
73. E Feller, "International Refugee Protection 50 Years On: The Protection Challenges of Past, Present and Future" (2001) 83 IRRC 581, 590.
74. Refugee Convention, Articles 17 & 18.
75. Refugee Convention, Article 26.
76. B Gorlick, "The Convention and the Committee Against Torture: A Complementary Protection Regime for Refugees" (1999) 11 IJRL 479, 491.
78. R Bruin & K Wouters, "Terrorism and the Non-Derogability of Non-refoulement" (2003) 15 IJRL 5, 25.
79. For example, the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, Art 3; the Organisation of African Unity: 1969 Convention on the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, Art 2; 1978 American Convention on Human Rights, Art 22; and the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees.
80. G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996), ch 4, which reviews state practice and academic literature regarding conformity to non-refoulement. See also R Haines, "International Law and Refugees in New Zealand"  NZLRev 119, 124.
84. E Lauterpacht (Sir) & D Bethlehem, "The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 7, 143. See also North Sea Continental Shelf (1969) ICJ Rep 3, 42, which states that the formation of customary international law from treaty provisions must be "of a fundamentally norm-creating character."
85. EXCOM Conclusion No 6 (XXVIII) 1977 which observed that "the fundamental humanitarian principle of non-refoulement has found expressions in various international instruments adopted at the universal and regional levels and is generally accepted by states." See also more recently, Conclusion No 79 (XLVII) 1996 para (j) and Conclusion No 81 (XLVIII) 1997 para (i).
86. G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996) 167-8. See also J Allain, "The Jus-Cogens Nature of Non-refoulement" 13 IJRL 538.
88. I Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (5th Ed, 1998) 5.
89. For a discussion on the scope of non-refoulement in New Zealand, see J Rodger, "Defining the Parameters of the Non-refoulement Principle" (2001) http://www.refugee.org.nz/JessicaR.htm
90. In M Crock, "In the Wake of the Tampa: Conflicting Visions of International Refugee Law in the Management of Refugee Flows" (2003) 12 Pac Rim L & Pol'y 49, 60, referring to the Refugee Convention, Art 33(1).
91. P Mathew, "Australian Refugee Protection in the Wake of the Tampa (2002) 96 AmJIL 661, 665.
92. See Goodwin-Gill, above n 86, 168.
93. United States Department of State, U.S. Delegation to the Meeting of the UNHCR Standing Committee on International Protection June 23-25, 1998.
94. Nicaragua v US (Paramilitary Activities Case) (1986) ICJRep 14.
95. M Crock, "The Refugees Convention at 50: Mid-life Crisis or Terminal Inadequacy? An Australian Perspective" in S Kneebone (Ed), The Refugee Convention 50 Years On (2003) 47, 56.
96. See Nicaragua v US (Paramilitary Activities Case) (1986) ICJRep 14.
97. Goodwin-Gill, 139.
98. Suresh v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)  1 SCR 3. For a case summary, see S Bourgon, "The Impact of Terrorism on the Principle of 'Non-refoulement' of Refugees: The Suresh Case before the Supreme Court of Canada" JICJ 1 (2003) 169.
99. Ibid, para 85. While the Supreme Court did not offer a conclusion of the role of international law in this context, it recognised that the prohibition on refoulement in the ICCPR and CAT reflect the prevailing international norm: para 72.
100. See Chahal v United Kingdom  ECtHR 54.
101. Ibid, para 79
103. Tapia Paes v Sweden Communication 39/1996.
104. R Piotrowicz & Dr C van Eck, "Subsidiary Protection and Primary Rights" (2004) 53 ICLQ 107, 122-3. See also UNHCR, "Addressing Irregular Secondary Movements of Refugees and Asylum Seekers" Convention Plus Issues Paper, Forum/CG/SM/03 (11 March 2004) para 22.
105. S Taylor, "Australia's 'Safe Third Country Provisions: Their Impact on Australia's Fulfilment of Its Non-Refoulement Obligations" (1996) 15 U Tas LR 196, 201.
106. S H Legomsky, "Secondary Movements and the Return of Asylum Seekers to Third Countries: The Meaning of Effective Protection" 15 (2003) IJRL 567, 624.
107. Ibid, 572.
108. G Goodwin-Gill, The Refugee in International Law (1996) 91.
109. P Mathew, "Australian Refugee Protection in the Wake of the Tampa (2002) 96 Am JIL 661, 670.
110. M Gibney, "The State of Asylum" in S Kneebone (Ed), The Refugees Convention 50 Years On (2003) 23.
111. Oxfam, "Adrift in the Pacific: The Implications of Australia's Pacific Refugee Solution", (2002) 14 in http://www.caa.org.au/campaigns/refugees/pacificsolution/index.html
112. Ibid. Nauru is mostly dependent on a "single, ageing desalination plant": http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/nauru/nauru_brief.html
113. F Brennan, Tampering With Asylum: A Universal Humanitarian Problem (2003) 110-112.
115. The issue of voluntary removal to a third country is also an idea that merits further discussion. See Legomsky, above note 104, at 664.
116. J C Hathaway, "Refugee Law is not Immigration Law" (2002) USCR 38, 43, emphasis added.
117. Ibid. See also Mathew, above note 109, at 667.
118. S H Legomsky, "Secondary Movements and the Return of Asylum Seekers to Third Countries: The Meaning of Effective Protection" 15 (2003) IJRL 567, 612-26.
119. See generally S Elias (Rt Hon Dame, CJ) "The Impact of International Conventions on Domestic Law" (2002) IARLJ, http://www.refugee.org.nz/IARLJ3-00Elias.html; G Palmer (Sir), "Human Rights and the New Zealand Government's Obligations" (2000) Indigenous Peoples and the Law http://www.kennett.co.nz/law/indigenous/index.html
120. R Bruin & K Wouters, "Terrorism and the Non-Derogability of Non-refoulement" (2003) 15 IJRL 5, 25.
121. Attorney-General for Canada v Attorney-General for Ontario  AC 326, 347, per Lord Atkin.
See New Zealand
Air Line Pilots' Association Inc v Attorney-General  3 NZLR 269, 280-1; Ashby
v Minister of Immigration  1 NZLR 222, 229 per Richardson J;
and Ashby v
Minister of Immigration  1 NZLR 222, 224, where Cooke J
commented: "It is
elementary that international treaty obligations are not binding in
domestic law until they have become
incorporated in that way."
124. C Geiringer, "Tavita and All That: Confronting the Confusion Surrounding Unincorporated Treaties and Administrative Law" (2004) 21 NZULR 66, 69.
126. R Higgins, Problems and Process - International Law and How We Use It (1995) 95.
127. Ibid, 70-1.
128. Cooke P commented that this argument, used by the New Zealand Immigration Service in Tavita v Minister of Immigration  NZLR 257, at 266 implied "New Zealand's adherence to the international instruments has been at least partly window-dressing."
129. S Elias (Rt Hon Dame, CJ) "The Impact of International Conventions on Domestic Law" (2002) IARLJ, para 12: http://www.refugee.org.nz/IARLJ3-00Elias.html
130.  NZLR 257.
131. Tavita v Minister of Immigration  NZLR 257, 266 per Cooke P.
132. See Geiringer, above n 124, 74.
133. Immigration Act 1987, s 129D.
134. For a discussion on the presumption of consistency, see Geiringer, above n 124, 75-82. Geiringer notes that the presumption of consistency is generally limited to (1) prior ambiguity in the statutory language; and (2) statutory language that can support more than one interpretation. See also R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Brind  1 AC 696 and Ashby v Minister of Immigration  1 NZLR 222.
135.  3 NZLR 269
136. New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Inc v Attorney-General  3 NZLR 269, 289 per Keith J.
137. C Geiringer, "Tavita and All That: Confronting the Confusion Surrounding Unincorporated Treaties and Administrative Law" (2004) 21 NZULR 66, 84, emphasis added.
138. Sections 4 and 6 reads:
enactments not affected--
No court shall, in relation to any enactment (whether passed or made before or after the commencement of this Bill of Rights),--
(a) Hold any provision of the enactment to be impliedly repealed or revoked, or to be in any way invalid or ineffective; or
(b) Decline to apply any provision of the enactment--
by reason only that the provision is inconsistent with any provision of this Bill of Rights.
consistent with Bill of Rights to be preferred--
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.
139. Prior to this, the only express reference to the Refugee Convention was the Immigration Act 1987, s 18(b), where it is mentioned in the context of residence permits granted by New Zealand in accordance with the Refugee Convention.
140. Immigration Act 1987, s 129F(1)(a).
141. Immigration Act 1987, s 129F(1)(b).
142. Immigration Act 1987, s 129O(3).
143. R Haines, "International Law and Refugees in New Zealand"  NZLRev 119, 141.
144. Ibid, 143.
145. Ibid, 143-4.
146. Immigration Act 1987, s 129N(2).
147. Refugee Appeal No. 74540, 223.
148. As already noted, Mr Zaoui is the first person to have a security risk certificate issued against him in New Zealand - no boatloads of asylum seekers ever arrived on these shores. Even prior to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there seems to be a palpable fear of the unknown "other" of post-modern discourse.
149. See Submission of the Human Rights Commission on the Immigration Amendment Bill 1998 (16 November 1998), Social Services Committee; Social Services Committee Report on the Immigration Amendment Bill 1998 (15 March 1999); and B H Slane, Report of the Privacy Commissioner for the Year Ended 30 June 1999.
150. Letter from the then Human Rights Commissioner, Ross Brereton to Joy McLauchlan (MP), Chairperson of the Social Services Select Committee, 4 December 1998 (personal correspondence from the Commission).
151. Ibid. Algeria has sentenced Mr Zaoui to death, in absentia, several times.
152. B H Slane, Report of the Privacy Commissioner for the Year Ended 30 June 1999, 66.
153. NZPD, 15625, 24 March 1999. Prime Minister Helen Clarke has already indicated that this legislation will be reviewed at the conclusion of the review procedure involving Mr Zaoui.
154. NZPD, 15629, 24 March 1999.
155. NZPD, 15625, 24 March 1999.
156. Immigration Act 1987, s 114A(a).
157. Immigration Act 1987, s 114A(c), emphasis added.
158. Immigration Act 1987, ss 114B(1)(iii), 114B(b)(i) & (ii). The use of classified information in such broad terms apparently conflicts with the narrow stricture of Article 33(2), a point returned to below.
159. Immigration Act 1987, ss 114D(b) & (c). "Relevant security criterion" is defined by Immigration Act 1987, s 114C.
160. Immigration Act 1987, s 72.
161. Immigration Act 1987, s 73.
162. Immigration Act 1987, s 114C(6).
163. Immigration Act 1987, s 114F(1). The Minister is not obliged to provide reasons for relying on the Certificate: Immigration Act 1987, s 114F(2)(a).
164. Immigration Act 1987, s 114G.
165. Immigration Act 1987, s 114H. The review must be applied for within 5 days of receiving the notice.
166. Immigration Act 1987, s 114I(3).
167. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 13.
168. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 20.
169. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, ss 22 & 23.
170. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 29.
171. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 19(4).
172. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 19(5).
173. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 19(6).
174. Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, s 4, emphasis added.
175. Immigration Act 1987, ss 114J(3) & (4).
176. Immigration Act 1987, s 114L. This is so where either the Certificate is not confirmed on review, the Ministerial notice is withdrawn (s 114N), or the Director withdraws the Certificate (s 114M).
177. Immigration Act 1987, s 114K.
178. Immigration Act 1987, s 114K(7).
179. Immigration Act 1987, s 114P.
180. This provision was included at the request of the UNHCR, which was concerned at the possibility of a person being removed from New Zealand under a Certificate before a refugee status determination could be made, thus preventing due consideration of Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention.
181. See Attorney-General v Refugee Council of New Zealand Inc.  2 NZLR 577, 632 where Glazebrook J said that Part IVA's purpose "can be seen as reinforcing s 129X and putting it beyond doubt that s 129X applies to Part IVA."
182. E R Woods, Security Risk Certificate (20 March 2003). It should be emphasised here that Mr Zaoui was never officially alleged to have terrorist associations.
183. Interlocutory Decision of Inspector-General of Intelligence (6 October 2003) In the Matter of Part IVA of the Immigration Act 1987 and In the Matter of a Review by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security pursuant to Section 1141 of the Immigration Act 1987, at the Request of Ahmed Zaoui.
184. Zaoui v Attorney-General  2 NZLR 339.
185. A full copy of the Summary of
Allegations and a critique of the Summary of Allegations can be found
The Summary of Allegations are included in this paper as Appendix A.
186. Summary of Allegations, Appendix A, para 1.
187. Ibid, para 2.
189. P Buchannan, "An Issue of Trust: Notes on the revamping of foreign intelligence-gathering in Aotearoa" (2004) http://www.conferenz.co.nz/an-issue-of-trust-notes-on-the-revamping-of-foreign-intelligence-gathering-in-aotea-5.html
190. Summary of Allegations, Appendix A, p 4.
191. Zaoui v Attorney-General  2 NZLR 339.
192. Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2)  1 NZLR 690
193. Immigration Act 1987, section 114A(c).
194. Immigration Act 1987, section 114A(d).
195. Immigration Act 1987, section 114C(6).
196. Immigration Act 1987, section 114D(1)(c), which states that the Director may provide a security risk certificate to the Minister where the Director is satisfied an identifiable individual meets the relevant security criterion in s 114C.
197. Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2)  1 NZLR 690 para 123, per Glazebrook J (CA).
198. This entertains the logic of a sliding scale of balance: if there is a low risk to national security, this case would not be before the courts and Mr Zaoui's human rights need not be considered in this context. Thus, the greater the risk to national security, the more important it is to strike a balance between national security and the human rights of Mr Zaoui. Therefore, the Director's assertion that Mr Zaoui is a threat to national security requires this balance to be achieved.
199. Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, section 32.
200. Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, section 38(4).
201. Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, section 38(3).
202. Criminal Code (Canada), s 83.05(6)(a).
203. Criminal Code (Canada), s 83.05(6)(b).
204. Lord Carlile of Berriew (QC) "Report on the Operation in 2001 of the Terrorism Act 2000", para 2.9, http://uk.sitestat.com/homeoffice/homeoffice/s?docs.tact_report.pdf&ns_type=pdf
205. Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, Part 4.
206. Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997, Schedule 1.
207. Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997, section 6(2)(a).
208. J E Smith, New Zealand's Anti-Terrorism Campaign: Balancing Civil Liberties, National Security, and International Responsibilities" http://www.fulbright.co.nz, 66.
209. Submissions on Behalf of Intervener, Human Rights Commission for CA, citing a Cabinet paper introducing the IGISA, CAB (95) M 1007, 4/11/95.
210. Immigration Act 1987, section 114A(f).
211. Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2)  1 NZLR 690, para 127, applying Article 31 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna Convention).
212. Ibid, para 136.
213. Suresh v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 1 SCR 3, para 90.
214. E R Woods, Summary of Allegations (27 January 2004). This can be seen at http://www.nzherald.co.nz
215. Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2)  1 NZLR 690, para 141.
216. Cardenas v Canada (1994) 23 IMM.L.ER 92d 244 in R M Hesketh, Submissions on Behalf of the Intervener for Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2) (2004) para 7.4.
217. Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees & Stateless Persons, 16th mtg., UN Doc A/CONF.2/SR.16, at 8 (1951) (statement of Mr. Hoare of the United Kingdom) in Ibid, para 154. See also Goodwin-Gill, 139-140.
218. E Lauterpacht (Sir) & D Bethlehem, "The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 137.
219. J C Hathaway & C J Harvey, "Framing Refugee Protection in the New World Disorder" (2001) 34 CNLILJ 257, 294-6.
220. Ibid, 296.
221. See J Fitzpatrick, "The Post-Exclusion Phase: Extradition, Prosecution and Expulsion" (2000) 12 IJRL 272, 288-9.
222. Ibid, 288. See also J C Hathaway & C J Harvey, "Framing Refugee Protection in the New World Disorder" (2001) 34 CNLILJ 257, 288, 320; and E Lauterpacht (Sir) & D Bethlehem, "The scope and content of the principle of non-refoulement: Opinion" in E Feller, V Türk, & F Nicholson (Eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (2003) 129.
223. Summary of Allegations, Appendix A, para 5.
224. Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2)  1 NZLR 690, para 168.
225. Ibid. See para 66 for a review of the approach of the Inspector-General to the RSAA decision.
226. Immigration Act 1987, section 114P(1).
227. Zaoui v Greig & Anor CIV-2004-404-000317, Salmon & Harrison JJ), para 24.
228. Ibid. This judgment emphasises the importance of the role of the Inspector-General in finding that the previous Inspector-General, Laurie Grieg, displayed apparent bias in representations toward the media. While the context of the interview ameliorates the significance of the comments (hence the finding of no actual bias), the Court held that the position of the Inspector-General is one that requires "adherence to the highest standards of impartiality", para 107.
229. The Court of Appeal accepted the general opinion that non-refoulement is part of customary international law, and therefore part of the common law: Zaoui v Attorney-General (No 2)  1 NZLR 690, para 34.
230. In S H Legomsky, "Secondary Movements and the Return of Asylum Seekers to Third Countries: The Meaning of Effective Protection" 15 (2003) IJRL 567, 572.
231. See Summary Paper at http://www.freezaoui.org.nz/docs/summarypaper.doc
232. Summary of Allegations, Appendix 1, para 3.
233. Summary of Allegations, Appendix 1, p 4.
234. Indeed, the 131 refugees accepted by New Zealand from the Tampa crisis after rejection from Australia who in April 2005 begin have New Zealand citizenship conferred by the Prime Minister provide a stark contrast.
235. Zaoui v Attorney-General And Ors SC CIV 13/2004 (9 December 2004) para 6.
236. Ibid, para 7.
237. Ibid, para 8.
238. Immigration Act 1987, section 114N.
239. The Committee Against Torture did precisely this in its communication of 19 May 2004. Not only did the Committee express concern at Mr Zaoui's prolonged solitary confinement, suggesting this of itself could have risen to the level of breaching Article 16 of the CAT (para 6(d)), but recommended "immediate steps to review the legislation relating to the security risk certificate, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the appeal made against the decision to detain, remove or deport a person, extend the time frame given to the Minister of Immigration to adopt a decision, and ensure full respect of article 3 of the Convention." Committee Against Torture, "Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 19 of the Convention: Conclusions and Recommendations of the Committee against Torture" 32nd Session, CAT/C/CR/32/4 (3-21 May 2004).
240. J C Hathaway, "A Reconsideration of the Underlying Premise of Refugee Law" (1990) HILJ 129, 134.
241. J C Hathaway & R A Neve, "Making International Refugee Law Relevant Again: A Proposal for Collectivized and Solution-Oriented Protection" (1997) 10 HHRJ 115, 116.
242. E Feller, "Opening Address" in Stemming the Tide or Keeping the Balance -the Role of the Judiciary, Endiguer ou réguler les flux migratoires IARLJ Conference 2002, 18.
243. Aeschylus, The Supplicant Maiden 463BC.