18 Feb 2010

Proposed warrant of fitness for new laws under fire

9:59 am on 18 February 2010

The equivalent of a warrant of fitness for new laws has come in for criticism from legal experts.

The Regulatory Responsibility Bill is part of the Government's confidence and supply agreement with the ACT party.

It proposes a test for new laws, which can be contested in the courts, and is aimed at cutting red tape.

Lawyer Tim Smith says it means officials and politicians will pay more attention to assessing the need for new laws.

But Auckland University Dean of Law Paul Rishworth says it could clog the courts and draw officials into legal battles.

Auckland University Law Professor Jane Kelsey says it will give big business groups a greater say in policy debates.