Taylor v. Manager of Auckland Prison
In June 2011 the manager of the Auckland Prison implemented a Rule proposed by the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Department of Corrections that banned smoking of tobacco or any other substance anywhere on prison grounds. A prisoner challenged the Rule, claiming that the manager did not have the power pursuant to the Corrections Act to impose a total ban on smoking; and, even if he did, he did not properly exercise his discretion. The Court agreed with the prisoner that the Rule was inconsistent with other legislation, particularly the Smoke-free Environments Act which required prison managers to have a written policy relating to smoking in cells. The Court found that it was Parliament’s intention to have smoking in prisons regulated by the Smoke-free Environments Act, not the Corrections Act. The Court therefore declared the Rule to be unlawful, invalid and of no effect. The New Zealand Parliament subsequently passed new and amending Regulations seeking to circumvent this decision. The High Court again ruled that those laws were invalid (see: Taylor v Attorney General & Ors [3 July 2013]).