Taylor v. Attorney General & Ors
This was the second case brought by Taylor, a prisoner, against smoking bans in prisons in New Zealand (see also: Taylor v Dept. of Corrections of New Zealand [20 December 2012]). Following the first case, the New Zealand Parliament enacted the Corrections Amendment Regulations, which declared tobacco and smoking equipment to be unauthorized items forbidden to inmates. The Parliament also amended other Regulations which were found to be inconsistent with the smoking ban in the first case. However, the Parliament did not amend the section of the Smoke-free Environments Act which required prison managers to have written policies regulating smoking in cells, which the judge in the first case found implied that smoking must be permissible (otherwise there would be no need to regulate it). Again, the Court found that although the Smoke-free Environments Act did not confer a right to smoke, it recognized that there was such a right. Further, the ban was inconsistent with the provisions of the Corrections Act requiring sentences to be administered humanely, because it would force some prisoners into nicotine withdrawal. The Court therefore declared the legislation effecting the ban to be unlawful, invalid and of no effect. However, when the Parliament passed the new Regulations, it also included ouster provisions purporting to prevent the law from being declared invalid. The Court did not rule on the effect of the ouster provisions because the plaintiff had not claimed any relief.