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Courts are no place for sick or tired judges

Courts are no place for sick or tired judges

New Zealanders deserve better from their justice system than a bench filled with sick and tired judges, who are there to make up the numbers, according to National Party Justice spokesman Richard Worth.

"The employment of "part-time" judges announced yesterday by the Attorney General is seriously flawed," he says.

"The suggestion is that such judges could be approved on the basis of health, family circumstances or approaching retirement. "But National is strongly opposed to these proposals.

"Being a judge is a fulltime demanding occupation and no place for those who suffer indifferent health, or who wish to slow down their work pace as they age.

"Plans for part-time judges and judges appointed for limited terms, are inconsistent with the critical constitutional requirement of an independent and fearless judiciary, free from executive oversight," Mr Worth says.

"The Government also needs to make it clear how these new arrangements will impact on plans to abolish the rights of appeal to the Privy Council and to establish a new local court.

"We deserve the best we can get from our justice system, in my view the appointment of part-time judges will only serve to erode the court's credibility," Mr Worth says.

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