Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Floodgates Open For Prisoner Lawsuits

Floodgates Open For Prisoner Lawsuits

Monday 6 Sep 2004
Stephen Franks
Press Releases -- Crime & Justice


Legal action planned against the Government, over the treatment of some Auckland remand prisoners, shows that the trickle of lawsuits will rapidly grow to a torrent, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"The signs were there years ago, when the judges invented damages compensation for breach of the Bill of Rights Act. Parliament had debated the Bill at length, and made no provision for damages enforcement," Mr Franks said.

"Neither Justice Minister Phil Goff nor his National predecessors should be surprised by this, or future, actions. Despite warnings by lawyers and prominent academics, neither National nor Labour passed legislation to confine the Bill of Rights Act to its intended boundaries.

"Labour is doubly responsible - not only did it fail to nip this problem in the bud when it had the chance, but it prevented others from doing so. And it was Labour that voted down my amendments to this year's Corrections Act, that gives prisoners more opportunities to sue.

"Political correctness has left our prison management at a loss for effective low level discipline options. There will be a constant temptation for conscientious jailers to mis-use powers to maintain order - but this should be dealt with by independent investigators and complaint procedures, with penalties for the jailers who breach their own rules.

"With the courts instead inventing damages as a sanction, the punishment falls on innocent taxpayers. It becomes a windfall for scumbags who are lucky to come under a justice system that doesn't treat them as they treated their victims in the first place.

"Even the judges who invented these damages awards must know how unprincipled they are. How does the award relate to anything that a prisoner has `lost'?

"I wonder whether we wouldn't get many volunteers for `mis-treatment' at the rate of $500 tax-free per week all expenses paid. After all they have to be in there anyway, so what's the loss? They should be protected by sound rules enforced with integrity, not lawyers hunting windfall bounties," Mr Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election