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UF succeeds in widening Supreme Court inquiry

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 20 March, 2003

UF succeeds in widening Supreme Court inquiry

United Future is delighted that the justice and electoral select committee, which is considering the Supreme Court Bill, has accepted its proposal to address the fundamental issue of whether New Zealanders' access to the Privy Council should be abolished at all.

The party's justice spokesman, Murray Smith, said the Government had been quite presumptuous in introducing the Bill without first consulting the people of New Zealand.

"This would be a huge constitutional change, and United Future wants the people of this country to have their say," Mr Smith said.

"We are delighted to see that the select committee will now look at the issue from the most fundamental level."

The select committee's investigation will now extend to looking at the possibility of the right of appeal to the Privy Council being extended rather than abolished. It will examine the alternative of a New Zealand-based international appeal court for South Pacific and Commonwealth countries, particularly smaller African states that are dependent on an overseas appeal court.

With the amended terms, the closing date for submissions has been extended to Friday, April 11.


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