28 Sep 2018

Prison strip-searches were unlawful, court rules

6:39 pm on 28 September 2018

The strip-searches of two high-profile prisoners at an Auckland prison was unlawful, the High Court has ruled.

Sliding barred doors and lock

More than 200 Paremoremo inmates were strip-searched during the incident. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham Farrelly

Career criminal Arthur Taylor and convicted murderer and child sex offender Phillip John Smith were among 209 prisoners strip-searched at Paremoremo in October 2016.

The strip search was prompted by an attack on two officers by four maximum-security inmates.

Taylor and Smith took the Department of Corrections to the High Court in March, alleging the searches were unlawful.

In a decision released today, Justice Peters said the strip searches breached the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

She ordered Corrections to pay Taylor and Smith $1000 each in compensation.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs