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Justice portfolio fundamental to our future

Dr Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

1 February 2001

Justice portfolio fundamental to our future

National's newly appointed spokesperson for Justice believes the portfolio is fundamental to the way we view our society.

"The most important issue is equality before the law. If governments fail to ensure that everyone will be treated equally by law, people will lose faith in the justice system," Dr Wayne Mapp said today.

"I will be testing the Government on this. Its policies to date have set a poor example. The Government has raised the spectre of unequal treatment in health and education, causing deep alarm in the community. Despite recent back downs, its motives remain deeply suspicious.

"The justice system also serves to provide order and stability so that people can go about their affairs peacefully. The public has directly spoken in the Norm Withers' referendum on the criminal justice system. Mr Goff has yet to produce any meaningful reform.

"My Private Members Bill to remove automatic parole for violent offenders could be implemented right now. The changes required are simple enough. All that is required is the will to act.

"There also needs to be a systematic reform of law for a more efficient commercial community and to remove injustice and outdated laws. The Law Commission has provided a fund of reports on commercial law, which could be readily enacted.

"A modern, forward-looking country must not have its affairs restricted by red tape. I see a principled and fair justice system as achieving this purpose. I intend to attack Labour's proposals where they fall short of these objectives, and to propose ideas and workable solutions that meet the test of equality before the law," Dr Mapp said.


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