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Privy Council Decision Warning To Attorney General

Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

20 March 2002

Privy Council Decision A Warning To Attorney General

The unprecedented Privy Council decision reversing 12 Court of Appeal cases fires a clear warning shot at the Attorney General's plans to abolish Privy Council appeals, says National's Justice spokesperson, Wayne Mapp.

"This was not just one case being singled out. This is the Privy Council saying that the criminal appeals system operated by the Court of Appeal was "unlawful" and the review procedure "from inception irredeemably flawed." The Privy Council has said the decisions by the Court of Appeal have no legal validity.

"An intellectually powerful Privy Council, detached from New Zealand, has been able to see the flaws in the Court of Appeal procedure.

"A second appellate Court in New Zealand, as proposed by the Attorney General, would not have this capacity in a legal community as small as New Zealand.

"This decision is a clear reason why retaining appeals to the Privy Council is an important safeguard of our legal rights," says Dr Mapp.

Ends

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