In the landmark case of Make it 16 Inc. V. Attorney General in 2022, the Supreme Court of New Zealand declared that setting the age limit as 18 with respect to the right to vote was an unjust limitation. Hence the provisions of Electoral Act 1993 and the Local Electoral Act 2001 were altered accordingly.
FACTS OF THE CASE :
Make it 16 Incorporated was a body formed from the New Zealand Youth Parliament. They stated that, although 16 year olds of the country were allowed to drive, own guns, work full time and consent to sex, they were not allowed the right to vote and hence this was unjustified. On the 24th of August, 2020 they approached the Wellington High Court as to set a lower age limit to vote so that the politicians do not block the voices of 16 and 17 year olds.
The Court of Appeal’s decision was rendered by Justices Christine French, Forest Miller, and Patricia Courtney on December 14, 2021. In contrast to the decision of the High Court, the Court of Appeal ruled that the “Attorney-General has not established that the limits on the right of 16 and 17-year-olds to be free from age discrimination caused by the voting age provisions are reasonable limits that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
Following the ruling, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that a measure lowering the voting age to 16 would be discussed in the New Zealand Parliament and that it would need a supermajority to pass.
JUDGMENT REVIEW BY SREYA MARY.