How can an individual file a lawsuit against a country for passively supporting human rights abuse through non-enforcement of laws and regulations?

Question Details: In recent years a friend has been persecuted by non-governmental groups that were allowed access to government portals via personal connection. These people were allowed to access their personal records, most notably their banking information. They also faked bank statements without any legal consequences. Other abuses include bodily and verbal abuse, defamation and psychological torture. What are the options available to pursue a lawsuit against a government? We don't think we can win but anything that goes through the legal channel will be immortalized through court documents.

Filed under Human Rights and Discrimination | 1732 View(s)

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Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

Anyone may bring a human rights problem to the attention of the United Nations and thousands of people around the world do so every year. Four of the international human rights treaties currently have individual complaints procedures.

Click this link for information about how you can make a complaint under an international human rights treaty: www2.ohchr.org.

The UN process for making individual complaints is free, and model complaint forms are available to help you write your complaint effectively: www2.ohchr.org. However, a complaint under one of the four treaties can be brought only against a State that meets two criteria:

1. The State must be a party to the treaty, having ratified or otherwise accepted it. (To check whether a State is a party to the treaty, click here: treaties.un.org)

2. The State must have recognised the competence of the committee established under the relevant treaty to consider complaints from individuals.

For human rights issues occurring within New Zealand, you can complain to the Human Rights Commission (the HRC) under New Zealand's own human rights legislation. It is free to complain to the HRC and the complaint is likely to be resolved more quickly than one to the UN. For more general information see the HRC website: www.hrc.co.nz.

The HRC also has a model complaint form to help you get started: www.hrc.co.nz

You can even make a complaint online: hrcnz.wufoo.com

Answered 20 Nov 2012. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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