Jan-Marie Doogue

David Cunliffe upsets Chief District Court Judge


It is very, very, VERY rare for the legal profession to take to the media.  Part of their job is to take things silently on the chin, no matter how unfair the situation.   Read more »

Wonders will never cease, Herald editorial gets something right

The NZ Herald editorial is bang on the money this morning:

Justice Minister Judith Collins will not be endearing herself to some of her legal colleagues now in the judiciary, but she is right. The judges’ long service leave entitlement negotiated with the previous Government is “generous”. She might have used a stronger word were it not for the restraint that parliamentarians and judges are supposed to exercise when commenting on the work of the other.

“Excessive” would be a better description of the perk that gives judges five months leave every five years, in addition to the seven weeks’ holiday they have every year. The deal was done for District Court judges five years ago but has only now come to public notice thanks to Ms Collins’ determination to find out why, despite falling crime rates, the courts remain so slow.

“Troughing” is a another word. I wonder who 5 years ago set that landmine up?

Labour’s Attorney General, Sir Michael Cullen, cannot recollect the reason he agreed to extend the judges long service leave from 65 to 100 days in a package of conditions negotiated in 2008, Labour’s last year of office.

As someone familiar with academic “sabbaticals”, Sir Michael supposed judges would spend the time catching up with developments in their field. The Chief District Court Judge, Jan-Marie Doogue, justifies the leave as recognition of increased jurisdiction and complexity of the work of district courts these days. She says it brings the judges’ terms and conditions closer to those of the High Court and similar international jurisdictions.  Read more »

Not enough judges apparently, but half of them are dud anyway

Hang on a minute, last week we heard that crime has dropped significantly, and Judith Collins was unhappy that judges were dragging the chain with cases.

This week we find that the judges are moaning that there aren’t enough of them…sounds like featherbedding to me.

New Zealand may only be months away from not having enough judges to hear cases.

The Weekend Herald understands there are concerns within the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice about the ability for the court system to cope with the workload facing judges.

The problem isn’t just restricted to Auckland, where court delays are well documented, but is a concern throughout the country.

It is an issue judges and court staff have been aware of for some time but it’s understood the ministry has now established a time frame where there will not be enough judges to hear cases.  Read more »

Dud Judges don’t like it up them

The Sensible Sentencing Trust, currently battling with the Privacy Commission and Pedophile Human Rights Commission has decided to launch a website highlighting dud judges…and boy aren’t the judges upset by it all.

Here’s a hint for them, stop cuddling crimes, hugging pedophiles and start sentencing people to the maximum not the minimum they can think of.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust plans an assault on the judiciary with a website designed to “out bad judges”.

The victims’ advocacy group says it will launch the website this month but has already set its sights on two judges involved in bail decisions over which it has raised concerns.

The fresh online assault on judges has brought disapproval from government ministers, with Justice Minister Judith Collins and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson speaking against it. The judiciary have also expressed dismay over the move, with opposition from Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue.

An internet domain registry search shows the judgethejudges.co.nz site has been registered by the Sensible Sentencing Trust. It is not connected to this week’s Judging the Judges news series in the Herald.  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.

Harvey gets the arse-card

NZ Herald

It looks like Judge Harvey has jumped before being pushed on the Dotcom extradition case. He should have been a bit more circumspect with his comments with all the nerds at NetHui. Poor Harvey J., according to Bill Hodge this was a “case of a lifetime” and considering he has spent his lifetime as a District Court Judge this was to the pinnacle of his “career”…and he bottled it with an off the cuff remark in front of a bunch of dweebs. Karma really is a bitch:

The judge overseeing the Kim Dotcom extradition case has stepped down after making comments suggesting the United States was the “enemy”.

Judge David Harvey surrendered his role in the case after making comments during a copyright discussion at an internet conference.

An internet law expert, Judge Harvey had been considered the perfect choice to hear arguments on whether Dotcom and his Megaupload colleagues should be extradited by the United States to face charges of criminal copyright violation.

The district court’s chief judge Jan-Marie Doogue said Judge Harvey had made the decision to step down from hearing the case.

“He recognises that remarks made in the context of a paper he delivered on copyright law at a recent internet conference could reflect on his impartiality and that the appropriate response is for him to step down from the case.”

Disclosure: Judge Harvey is the judge who delivered a judgement longer than the Supreme Court judgement delivered in the Trinity Tax fraud case, acknowledged as New Zealand’s most complicated tax trial. That judgement was of course against me on 9 charges of breaching name suppression, all summary offenses.