University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


This Article argues that the seizures of children authorized by the New Zealand Care of Children Act to enforce private custody orders are unlawful and unjustifiable arrests. These seizures lack in either the substantive limitations of necessity or the procedural protections that should attach to such an intrusive and violent restriction on children’s liberty. It argues that their issuance violates children’s rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and international human rights law. It canvasses the history of these arrest provisions and argues that they function as a mechanism for detinue and replevin of children, harkening back to a time when children’s status under the law was that of chattel. It documents how these arrest warrants have increasingly played a central role in the broader problem of the use of Family Court processes by family violence perpetrators to extend their coercive control over their victims and argues that these warrants have become a tool of social entrapment for victims.