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Where Were You When It Counted, Dr Cullen?

Where Were You When It Counted, Dr Cullen?

Monday 24 May 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

The extraordinary focus on the constitutional dangers of judicial activism in today's commemoration sitting has come too late, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Last year, Labour rammed the Supreme Court Bill through on a bare majority, supported only by the Greens. It blocked an amendment that would have prescribed the constitutional role for the court Dr Michael Cullen is now calling for," Mr Franks said.

"My amendment was along lines recommended by constitutional law expert Jack Hodder, and gave a definition of the rule of law that would require judges to apply existing law instead of feeling free to make law.

"Labour minions jumped to Attorney-General Margaret Wilson's order in rejecting the protection in Select Committee and the House. Yet it now seems that my amendment would have provided precisely what Dr Cullen, Bill English - and, of course, Richard Prebble - were calling for today.

"Where was Dr Cullen? As he admitted, he can't blame the judges - but the irresponsible legislators were not all 20 years ago when it comes to the spurious Treaty principles.

"They've kept passing law with those terms - which force judges to invent rules - right up to the latest in March this year. All parties, other than ACT, have continued voting for principles clauses.

"And what about the vague powers in Bills like Local Government, and Trademarks, passed by this Labour Government?

"Does Dr Cullen win any Cabinet battles against the Clark-Wilson clique?


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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