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Attorney-General Out Of Her Depth

The Attorney-General Margaret Wilson is out of her depth in her handling of the Justice Fisher Affair, and has effectively shown no confidence in the Chief Justice, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said today.

“It was Ms Wilson and the Prime Minister along with their Cabinet colleagues who appointed the Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias—that was a recent appointment. The Chief Justice is effectively the CEO of New Zealand’s Judiciary and occupies an extremely important constitutional position which cannot exist unless she is independent of the Executive,” Mr Peters said.

“The Attorney-General’s ‘going public’ with her concerns about the Chief Justice’s decision relating to Justice Fisher has gravely called into question the independence of the Chief Justice. Ms Wilson has inferred that she has no confidence in the Chief Justice’s judgment, and by clear inference that she lacks confidence in her own appointee.

“I am the last person to defend Justice Fisher. Back in 1993 he was the presiding judge in my case against the National Party, in which I was effectively expelled from the party. However, there is a greater issue at stake here, and that is the constitutional issue of independence which the Attorney-General clearly does not understand or does not want to understand.

“Just because the mob is out is no reason for the Attorney-General, who should know better, to make a whole range of inappropriate comments for demonstrably political reasons. Either it was a decision for the Chief Justice or it was not and Margaret Wilson has clearly failed again.


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