Herald editorial on Justice reforms

The Herald editorial looks at the comments from last week by Judith Collins on speeding up the justice system.

The time it can take for judges to issue a reserved decision is one of the enduring mysteries of the justice system. It can be many months, even a year or more, following a hearing at which the learned mind was presented with the salient issues. Litigants can only wonder what could be taking so long, and their lawyers can only advise patience. So it is refreshing to find a Minister of Justice mystified too.

Judith Collins, a lawyer herself, does not suffer from undue deference to the judiciary. Announcing a number of steps to improve the running of the courts, she has given notice that reserved judgments will need to be delivered faster. She says she is concerned at the time judges in some courts are taking and she is sick of hearing the solution is to appoint more judges.   Read more »


Chester goes soft on crims

Shall we have a sweepstake on when the first big punch up takes place before parties …NBR explains (paid content):

Criminal re-offending may be linked to where bad guys sit in court.

And in what has been described by one senior lawyer as “The Inmates are Running the Asylum”, the justice ministry is about to test the theory at North Shore district court.

From early next year defendants – who traditionally stand in the dock at the side of the courtroom – will move to the front of the court alongside their lawyer.

The theory is that defendants standing in the dock at the side of the court do not “engage” with the court process and therefore reoffend.

Moving defendants to the front of the court, sitting or standing directly in front of a judge, is reckoned to be more “inclusive” and likely to prevent reoffending.

Believe this or not, courts minister Chester Borrows thinks it is a great idea and chief district court judge Jan Marie Doogue has approved the pilot.

Apparently justice minister Judith Collins is not involved.

 Of course Judith Collins isn’t involved, she knows where crims belong.

Why are Boarders being fined?

I am as confused about the fines as the Judge is. Why on earth would be be fining skate boarders or those unfortunates who need to stay in boarding arrangements?