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Royal Commission funds Islamic Women's Council's legal rep

Royal Commission funds Islamic Women's Council's legal representation

Katie Scotcher, Reporter

The Islamic Women's Council has received financial assistance from the Royal Commission into the Christchurch Mosque Attacks to help it pay for legal representation.

The council met with the inquiry in June to voice their concerns about a possible power imbalance between Muslim community groups and government agencies.

Anjum Rahman from the council told RNZ in June she was unhappy that government agencies had the resources to pay for lawyers to help with evidence and Muslim community groups do not.

"One of the concerns we have is basically a power imbalance between a community organisation, with very little funding and volunteers, and government agencies that are well funded and have legal representation."

After the meeting, the Royal Commission recommended the Islamic Women's Council receive funding in a way that was consistent with the Inquiries Act.

The Act states funding can be allocated if a number of particular conditions are met.

These include the likelihood of hardship if legal assistance is declined, the nature or significance of the contribution that the person is likely to make to the inquiry, the extent to which legal assistance is likely to be required to enable to inquiry to fulfill its purpose and any other matters relating to public interest.

The Royal Commission has now confirmed the Council will recieve financial assistance, but did not say how much money was granted.

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