The courts will continue to operate with the current legal aid system for the timebeing despite the Court of Appeal ruling it unlawful.
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) launched court proceedings after the Government’s cost-saving shake-up of the legal aid system, which resulted in legal aid lawyers getting a 10 per cent pay cut.
The CBA lost a High Court case but took it to the Court of Appeal, which today held that the Legal Services Commissioner, who is responsible for granting legal aid, was unable to function independently of the Government. Read more »
Stephen Franks comments on the changes that Judith Collins is making in Justice to repair the damage caused by Simon Power and the liberal elite he pandered to.
The Hon Judith Collins justifies the ordinary voter’s support for National. Her preparedness to establish a register of convictions is another example.
Let’s hope that she makes it simple. The current system has converted “open courts and justice being seen to be done” into a hollow slogan. A Press editorial advocates simplicity as far as it goes – but that is not far enough.
The record should be open. What happens in open court should be on that record. It should mean that people ‘live down their crime’ if people who know their offending gain confidence in them from long term reliability. That is not the current version. System defenders claim without research evidence that not being caught and living among unwitting associates is rehabilitation. Read more »
Apparently Van Ginsbergen is now enjoying politics rather than motor racing…but who cares, it’s just a word, sounds the same…I really should stop pointing out all the error’s that Bryce Johns’ “decent journalists, trained and skilled” are making…but then he did email me to try harder.
A reader who is a lawyer writes about the recent furore over name suppression, and points out more of Simon Power’s appalling law making abilities:
I suspect you and I disagree rather strongly on name suppression, at least pre-conviction. The “convict by media” approach is such that publicity of a charge can ruin careers. That said, on conviction, save as to protect a victim, the circumstances should be truly exceptional before name suppression is granted. A person convicted after due process (to borrow an Americanism) beyond reasonable doubt can not then expect anonymity. Indeed public opprobrium is an important element of deterrence against committing crime.
I have not seen the decision of Hubble DCJ and always treat media reports with a degree of skepticism but, in general terms, was a little surprised especially in relation to the name suppression or “name secrecy” as the Herald seemed to decide the new legal term should be. Read more »
Andrew Geddis comments at NBR in an article by Rod Vaughan (paid content) about the compo grab of David Cullen Bain:
“The cynic in me thinks they thought that the case against Bain was so clear that anyone who came in to look at it was going to give them an answer and they could make it go away.
“I genuinely think that [former Justice Minister] Simon Power thought Binnie was going to come back and say ‘he’s guilty, you don’t have to pay him’.
“And when Binnie didn’t do that, that’s when the fur started to fly.” Read more »
I am highly critical of the Herald but today they have done something of a public service in highlighting the draconian secrecy provisions of the Teachers’ Council disciplinary proceedings. Secrecy that allows criminal teachers to escape wider censure.
A physical education teacher at a Christian school has admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student – one of 11 teachers found guilty of serious misconduct last year whose actions have been permanently suppressed.
The New Zealand Teachers Council has posted a warning advising the public and media it is illegal to publish details of disciplinary proceedings.
The warning is based on a little-known blanket suppression rule that has never been enforced, and is more draconian than the rules used by the criminal courts and most disciplinary bodies.
The Teachers Council Disciplinary Tribunal has suspended the PE teacher’s practising certificate for three years, and has ordered him to tell prospective employers of the offence if he returns to teaching.
However because of the new warning we can’t report his name. Nor can we report his school. Strictly speaking, the Herald on Sunday shouldn’t be reporting the misconduct and suspension at all.
Teachers Council (Conduct) Rule 32(1), set in place under statute in 2004, means nobody may publish any details of a tribunal decision. That means any reports you’ve read in newspapers or seen on television are against the law. Read more »
Stephen Franks blogs about the case where the alleged murderer of a Waihi man, who was on bail at the time has applied for bail for this new crime.
The 18 year old charged with murdering Murray Wilkinson outside his Waihi caravan applied for bail again yesterday. Bail was denied but I’m told that his QC indicated he would try again.
The accused has name suppression so we can’t learn the truth about him but if today’s judges had half the common sense of previous generations’ such an application would be unthinkable. Our courts are pathetic about discouraging wasteful and abusive procedures. But then they are handicapped by what should be shame, but is probably instead passive recognition that it could be years before the case is tried. They have to at least consider whether the presumption of innocence is compatible with holding an accused for so long. Read more »
Via the tipline
Looks like the Government’s bank Westpac needs to lift its game. Here’s what you can have in your retirement if you invest in their KiwiSaver scheme – destitute, living in a shotgun shack, and wash yourself in an old rusty bath.
Certainly looks like Simon Power is having an influence:
It’s New Year’s Eve…how about some songs…here is one for Simon Power:
Despite the disasters of Hekia Parata, who single-handedly undid all the good work Anne Tolley did in Education in smashing up the teacher unions there were some ministers who did a good job.
Some of course were invisible, but often that is a good thing.
Those more prominent include John Key of course…who continues his chart topping popularity with barely a dent despite the best efforts of his underlings to cause upset.
Any best minister award should have Tony Ryall on it, if only because there have have been no health scandals in 4 years on his watch. Normally getting picked for health minister is the equivalent of having the bone pointed at you. The only job worse is education minister…but lucky for others Hekia Parata actually lobbied for that job.
Judith Collins moved from Corrections and Police where she sorted out both the chief executives of Corrections and the commissioner of Police, managing and organising their departures. Her new job as ACC and Justice minister was met with the manufactured stand over of Pullar and Boag, aided and abetted by John Judge and his sneaky backroom whisperings. Judge clearly isn’t a scholar of history because if he was he would have pulled his head in rather than have it chopped off…which is ultimately what happened, along with half the board. Despite the whining of Labour about the calamity that would befall ACC with all their flunkies on the board being axed nothing of the sort eventuated. And so to Justice, where Collins has had to deal with an activist ex-judge hell-bent on telling Joe Karam’s version events with regard to the Bain case. Again she acted forcefully and without hesitation. Leaving only the worst reforms of Simon Power to be unpicked.
Surely too we need to include Steven Joyce, minister of the newly formed MoBIE and the minister most other ministers fear. His sledging is legendary, and his capacity for work also is the stuff of legends. I prefer to label him the Bill Birch of this government. I have never seen a minister with a bigger set of carry on luggage as Steven Joyce.
Paula Bennett must be a nominee too, if only for the best sledge of the year with her now famous “Zip it Sweetie“, pouring the lack lustre Jacinda Ardern back into her bottle. Despite the best attempts of a pathetic Labour front bench not a single blow was landed on Paula.
What other ministers have made their mark in a positive way this year. Check the full list of ministers and see if you can come up with any other nominees.