The impact of economic and social human rights in New Zealand case law
Although New Zealand has traditionally relied on ‘positive progressive realisation’ of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) through public policy decision-making, recently there has been small number of cases relying on international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to support the legal argument. This article reviews the implementation of the ICESCR in New Zealand through an analysis of this case law. The article argues that although there has been an increase in the number of cases relying of ESCR, the courts have been reluctant to grant a remedy without ESCR being explicitly incorporated into the domestic law. The article further argues that the attempt to provide a remedy for ESCR through the declaration of inconsistency under the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 has highlighted the need for the inclusion of ESCR into the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.