This is a single section from Chapter 4. Read the full chapter here.

Natural justice

Legislation should be consistent with the right to natural justice.

Section 27(1) of NZBORA provides a right to the observance of natural justice in a broad range of circumstances—for example, whenever a tribunal or other public authority makes a determination in respect of a person’s rights, obligations, or interests that are protected or recognised by law. The requirements of natural justice vary depending on the particular context of the case, having regard to the importance of the rights and interests involved, but its purpose is to ensure people are dealt with fairly. First, decision makers must be unbiased in respect of the matter before them. Second, decision makers must provide those affected by the decision with the opportunity to be heard. Natural justice operates at its highest level in the case of criminal trials, with strict procedural requirements; the requirements of natural justice in civil matters (for example, a licensing decision) may be less stringent. See Chapter 6 for more guidance on legislation that impacts on rights.

This page was last modified on