Importance Of International Law

768 Words4 Pages
Introduction
International law is a valuable resource for the New Zealand courts. Courts can draw on the expert minds of other judges. Consistency with international law, especially concerning human rights, gives citizens security. Conversely, judges must always prioritise local circumstances. In some situations, deviating from the law established overseas may bring the most justice.
The value of international judgements
International law is a wealth of expertise and history. The common law in New Zealand is slow to develop due to the limited number of cases that the Supreme Court can hear. By looking at how courts in other jurisdictions have handled similar cases, this can be mitigated. Simply put: the more cases there are, the greater the
…show more content…
States with different constitutions may hold different values; states with different histories produce different social contexts. The Treaty of Waitangi uniquely influences New Zealand circumstances. The Treaty and customary title rights play a role in the application and development of our law. International law does not have regard to the Treaty so some reasoning and decisions, along with the underlying values, may not be useful. Randerson J noted that, in developing the breach of confidence tort, courts should be “informed by the recent developments in the United Kingdom and elsewhere while taking into account New Zealand law and conditions [emphasis…show more content…
Prioritising individual rights often comes at the cost of ignoring collective rights. Legal scholar Annie Mikaere challenges the Western conception of individualised human rights. Mikaere suggests that positive change towards granting Māori tino rangatiratanga begins with recognising collective rights to self-determination. Western philosophy often dominates international organisations like the United Nations. The New Zealand government promises its indigenous population that it will uphold the Treaty. Simply transplanting ideas and values without regard to the power structures that produced them and applying them in our law is harmful to subordinated values like tikanga Māori. In practice, it only leads to disguising processes of
Open Document