This is a single section from Chapter 8. Read the full chapter here.

Are any pre-existing treaties or international obligations relevant to the proposed legislation?

New legislation must not be inconsistent with existing international obligations.


MFAT, the Crown Law Office, and the particular department with responsibility for the relevant existing treaty should be consulted to identify any relevant international obligations and whether the proposed legislation will result in any inconsistency.

Where possible, any relevant non-binding international instruments should be identified. Although not binding on New Zealand in international law, they may have wider significance. These may be described as declarations, resolutions, and instruments under negotiation or non-binding international standards. Advice should be sought from MFAT, the relevant department or the Crown Law Office as to their legal significance.

New Zealand is currently party to, and is in the process of negotiating, a number of trade agreements (sometimes called Free Trade Agreements, Closer Economic Partnerships, or Strategic Economic Partnerships). These agreements can have specific provisions in areas such as intellectual property rights (including the use of trademarks and patent rights), and have dispute resolution processes that domestic law must not inadvertently restrict. Further information about existing trade agreements and those currently under negotiation can be found on MFAT's website.

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