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.  

Technology could be one way to assist…just through more judges at the problem won’t help…most of them are dud anyway…perhaps there should be performance criteria set to weed them out.

With crime rates declining, she cannot see how judges can claim to be overworked. Neither can anyone outside their ranks. Criminal cases, of course, are only part of their work, but the reduction in time spent in trials and criminal procedure should be allowing more time for the rest of their work.

Collins displays a refreshing ability to cut through the bullshit. Best the judges leap to it quick smart and solve the problem, otherwise Crusher will.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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