Artistic portrait of woman with tape ove

Human Rights

Richard brought the first stand-alone action for a “declaration of inconsistency” (DOI) in a common law country. He successfully argued it is a remedy inherent in the jurisdiction of the superior courts, and therefore available to women denied the right to vote. Refer: 

Taylor & Ors v The Attorney-General [2014] NZHC 1630; The Attorney-General v Taylor & Ors [2017] 3 NZLR 24.

The judgment of the Supreme Court was delivered on 09 November 2018. The majority of the Court ruled in favour of the respondents setting a landmark precedent that superior courts can issue a DOI in the absence of an express jurisdiction created by legislation. Refer:

Attorney-General v Taylor, Ngaronoa & Ors [2018] NZSC 104; [2019] 1 NZLR 213

Just over one month later on 14 December 2018, the Supreme Court delivered its second judgment on the issue of prisoner voting rights. The majority held that notwithstanding its previous ruling that sentenced prisoner disenfranchisement breaches the right to vote, it remained valid legislation. Chief Justice, Sian Elias issued a  dissenting judgment: 

Ngaronoa, Wilde and Taylor v The Attormey-General et al [2018] NZSC 123; [2019] 1 NZLR 289.

Richard argued the first "stalking" case in which the defendant was a woman. Losing the case on appeal, he was granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal, and it overturned the decisions of the lower courts. R v D [2000] 2 NZLR 641.

In Litten v Police (1996) 13 CRNZ 604 (HC), Richard created a landmark decision in which a person in custody who does not understand the legal rights read to him, is entitled to not only a first Bill of Rights warning (Miranda warning) but in certain circumstances a second one.  Elias J held, that the breach of the accused's  right justified the exclusion of the prosecution's evidence against him.