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Openness Brings Accountability

Openness Brings Accountability

Wednesday 5 May 2004 Dr Muriel Newman

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today welcomed Chief Family Court Judge Peter Boshier's comments that he favours a more open Family Court.

"In a Justice and Electoral Select Committee hearing today, Judge Boshier gave evidence to the effect that public institutions benefit from being scrutinised by the public," Dr Newman said.

"Judge Boshier favoured the court being opened to accredited media, and to those affected by the case. Further, he wants all Family Court proceedings to be published as of right, and believes that full scrutiny of the court's systems and processes is imperative. Like ACT, Judge Boshier believes that openness brings accountability.

"Importantly, he wants to see Parliament deal with the question of openness as a matter of priority. This is particularly important, given that my Private Members Bill - the Family Court (Openness of Proceedings) Amendment Bill - is sitting on the Order Paper ready to be debated next Members' Day.

"That Bill would provide the perfect opportunity for Parliament to examine these issues in a timeframe which has been called for by the Judge.

"I am calling on the Labour Government to support my Bill to a Select Committee, so that the wishes of the Chief Family Court Judge can be progressed in a timely manner," Dr Newman said.


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