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Letter from Richard Prebble to the PM

Letter from Richard Prebble to the Prime Minister relating to appointment as a judge in the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings

Dear Prime Minister

This is to respond to your statement in Parliament today that the government is considering appointing me to be a judge in the new Supreme Court to replace appeals to the Privy Council.

While I am flattered at the proposal, and while I realise I am the senior lawyer in parliament, I must decline.

I am opposed to appointing politicians to be judges.

I think your suggestion does illustrate the dangers of the new court.

While I realise that in my case it's recognition of my ability - honours degree in law, admission to the bar in two countries - there would be those in the community and media who would think that my appointment was an attempt to get rid of an effective opposition MP, or even worse that it was a `crony' appointment of a former colleague.

I was shocked that you admitted Annette Sykes and Donna Hall had an equal chance of appointment.

I urge you to reconsider this new court - the Privy Council has never caused a row over the appointment of judges. If it's not broke why fix it?

Yours sincerely

Hon Richard Prebble MP CBE Leader, ACT New Zealand

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