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Government must pay heed to Privy Council support

Government must pay heed to Privy Council support

A call by the majority of Auckland lawyers to retain the Privy Council must put pressure on the Government to halt its plans to abolish the Council and replace it with a new local court, says National's Justice spokesman, Richard Worth.

Mr Worth was commenting on a motion passed unanimously at the Auckland District Law society AGM, calling for appeals to the Privy Council to be retained.

This comes in the wake of a survey done by the same Law Society which showed that 85 per cent of the 3500 members wanted the Council retained.

"The response by Attorney General Margaret Wilson that she wasn't surprised by the survey result because the "law is a conservative profession that is resistant to change" shows she misunderstands the legal profession.

"The fact that one member claimed there had been no consultation for the proposed changes is shameful. This clearly proves that significant constitutional changes must not occur without a referendum.

"The Government wants to charge ahead with this plan, but let's not forget the Privy Council reversed the Court of Appeal decision in seven of the last ten cases it heard. This is not a good statistic, and surely warrants more discussion and closer examination," says Mr Worth.

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