David Clendon

Minister’s attack on the judiciary

by David Clendon

Our justice system can be fair, accessible, and trusted, with a focus on preventing crime and strengthening our communities.

Instead, our courts system is currently under huge stress and facing a large backlog.

This is because under Justice Minister Judith Collins, our justice system has been starved of proper funding in every area. She’s also introduced dysfunctional new laws, including the Criminal Procedure Act, which changed the way the courts operated and has caused much more delay than it has alleviated despite that being the intended purpose of the new law.

Now she’s trying to blame judges for the ongoing delays:

“It is a mystery to me as to why we can’t be much faster in our courts…It does not make sense that we have the same number of judges as we did back in 2008 and yet we are not getting the productivity that we would expect out of the courts”

Judith Collins seems to be putting forward a proposition that the judges are somehow not pulling their weight and she has written to Finance Minister Bill English seeking an investigation by the Productivity Commission into the courts system.

The Minister is blaming the judges, but she created this mess.

She can fix it too, by reinstating funding to where it’s needed most, to areas like legal aid and restorative justice, and by rebuilding our court processes to better deliver real justice to New Zealanders.

For more information on this issue, have a listen to this piece from yesterday on National Radio.

Published in Justice & Democracy by David Clendon on Wed, November 27th, 2013   

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