Another Judge that needs sacking

Any Judge that quotes “The Spirit Level” while pronouncing that hugs and cuddle for criminals is preferable to being tough needs to be sacked, forthwith.

The head of the country’s Youth Court has warned that New Zealand’s “world-leading” youth justice system is under threat from those who want it to be “tougher”.

Judge Andrew Becroft told a seminar on youth issues at Auckland University yesterday that calls for tougher sentences, which had led to constant changes in the adult justice system in the past 20 years, had “thankfully” not touched youth justice.

But he said the youth justice system was also “under threat from a simplistic call for more toughness”.

“You ask yourself: where does the toughness end? What sort of toughness is considered sufficient?

…The judge said he now saw “pockets of a third-generation permanent underclass throughout New Zealand”.

“That’s not to say that everyone who is poor or disadvantaged offends, but it’s a hugely high risk factor. That’s one of the reasons why 79 per cent have a care and protection history. That really worries me.”

He referred to the recently published book The Spirit Level which showed that countries with the highest inequality, including New Zealand, also had the lowest levels of child wellbeing and other measures of social cohesion.

If Justice Minister Judith Collins is making a list, then she should put Judge Andrew Becroft on it.


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  • Michael

    I thought the Spirit Level was completely debunked as using only the countries and statistics to match the conclusion the authors wanted and that a thorough analysis including all measures showed that there is no obvious correlation between relative poverty and social cohesion – and the biggest factor was speaking English! 


    Hows that working for them.What a complete knob.Little wonder these shitheads keep reoffending.

  • Gazzaw

    We pay these people to adjudicate on criminal cases and hand down sentences that reflect the values of the community that they represent. They are not there to hand down sentences that represent their personal opinons.

    I know that the online Pravda polls are fairly meaningless but when 94% of those polled yesterday find that the current bail laws are totally inadequate and that judges need some parameters set for them then that is a fair indication that the community has had a gutsful of the judiciary and their liberalism from Elias down to the most junior magistrate.   

  • Mr_Blobby

    And we wonder why our Justice system is broken.
    Maybe what we need is a dose of transparency and democracy.
    Who appoints these clowns in the first place and how is it we can’t remove them when they don’t perform.
    Sick of Politicians harping on about the independence of the Judiciary. Who are appointed by the Government in the first place.
      We need to remove the 5 star ratings from our prisons and find more cost effective ways of housing and feeding the antisocial element in our society. We could start by removing the right to sue because their mattress isn’t soft enough, unless they fund it fully themselves.
    If you want sentences to reflect the values of the community then perhaps Judges and the Public prosecutors office should be elected positions. As a side point, who appointed the public prosecutor and why is there no competition for the Job.
    Want a successful system; merge all the various Courts into one Court. KISS keep it simple stupid. Haven’t seen anything useful come out of the Family Court or the Youth Court at all and there are a multitude of other Courts. Justice shouldn’t be complicated they did it or they didn’t, that is the question.
    A classic example must be our home grown terrorists. 1-2 Years investigating, 4.5 Years fighting about what is evidence and can be presented, 3 Month trial. End result a fine that will be disputed for ever afterwards through all our higher courts and for generations to come.

  • GPT

    Excellent.  Start sacking people for having a non approved opinion. 

    • Mike

       If an opinion is obviously stupid, there is nothing wrong with sacking him. What you really wanted to say was “start sacking someone who has a political agenda with which I agree”. Remember Captain Rhumb in Blackadder – “Opinion is divided!”

  • Troy

    So this twerp says ““You ask yourself: where does the toughness end? What sort of toughness is considered sufficient?” 

    I’d have thought that anyone with an average IQ could answer this question – whatever toughness is sufficient is that which causes or brings about a change in behaviour of an offender for them to cease being criminals – it’s not rocket science.  Take of the kid gloves and deal to these shitheads who are at least are repeat offenders – i’d say that is sufficient in toughness that is required.

  • Thorn

    The NZ judiciary are unfit to lick a dead leper’s balls.

  • Greg M

    Time NZ had a sentencing council. They would decide the relevant sentences to fit the crime , and the judge would have no choice but to use it.

  • Euan Rt

    Isn’t a sentence supposed to be delivered on behalf of the public? It is my understanding that justice is defined as the community feeling that a criminal gets punished in a manner that the community feels just. It would seem to me that this judges idea of justice is his own personal opinion. I want a judge who will fairly represent me, not the criminal.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Very Good. But can you name one Judge, just one, that reflects the values of the community that they represent. My bet is not one.

      • That judge in Hamilton who told a woman she was a stink mother.

    • Gazzaw

      Personal opinion isn’t restricted to criminal cases either – witness the High Court judge’s Crafar farms decision.

    • jay cee

      thats right the sentence is supposed to reflect societies repugnance at the crime committed.but then there are also a lot of other factors to be taken into account,previous record, if any, the offenders age and so on, to fully understand the reasons behind each sentence you need to follow a case through court from go to whoa. before anyone starts talking about a bad decision from the courts have a look at the workload the judge has and how many of his/her decisions had everyones approval. 

    • Mike

       Hope you don’t like comedy – the judge that likes funny people lets rapists off……

  • Dion

    A “world leading” youth justice system?  Any facts to back that up?  

    Thought not.  Unless there’s suddenly been a nosedive in youth offending that I’m not aware of.

  • jay cee

    of course we all want tougher sentences don’t we. that is until its one of our own that  is in the dock,then it becomes a case of hiring the best lawyer we can afford and hoping the kindly judge will be gentle on our child. the question that has to be asked are we sending people to prison i.e. denying themtheir freedom as punishment or to receive punishment if its the latter you want then  this country is headed for fascism.

    • Gazzaw

      That’s just dumb logic jay cee.You can do better than that.

      NZ heading for fascism? Fantastic! At least the trains will run on time for which Auckland commuters will be eternally grateful for.

      • jay cee

        ok fascism was over the top but my point remains the same. the whole idea of imprisonment is punishment in itself and to rehabilitate people, not to be a place of punishment per se. 

    • Euan Rt

      If one of my kids was in the docks JC, I would be happy for them to be tried to the full extent of the law. If they do the crime, then they are responsible to do the time. I may hire the best lawyer I can, but only to make sure they too get justice in the process.

      • jay cee

        glad you are that way inclined and i would like to think i was too. but when you hear parents describing their children as “good kids” when they are charged with a crime, its a fair bet they are not going to be baying for blood like they would if it was someone elses child. 

    • We’re not heading for an Aryan Nationalist dictatorship here. Merely saying that people must obey the rules we set down in Law, and if they do not, they should serve a sentence that is: Punitive, it punishes the offender; Restorative, it repays a debt owed to society; and Corrective, it teaches the offender not to do it again.