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Questions For Mr Goff

Questions For Mr Goff

Monday 4 Oct 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks this morning suggested questions that should be put to Justice Minister Phil Goff when he emerged from today's Cabinet meeting.

"The long-overdue Bill to deal with outrage at payouts to criminals may not be available, other than through leaks to hand-picked trusty journalists," Mr Franks said.

"But the others should want the answer to questions like:

· Will he end judges' power to make these awards - and, if not, why not?

· Why not give Parliament a chance to vote on whether they should be there? The right to payment for so-called Human Rights abuses was never voted by Parliament - it was invented by judges in 1994, despite Parliament's decision not to include these awards.

· Is the reason, as leaked, because the Human Rights establishment would whine?

· If Mr Goff says it is UN rules, then who's running the country - our elected representatives, or the cynical nominees of corrupt dictators and brutal demagogues who infest UN committees?

· When did the Parliamentary Council Office get full drafting instructions?

· If it was in the past month, then, why - Mr Goff has known since April 7 that the judge would be awarding damages, and the only question was how much and to exactly which criminals?

· Given that the Minister is using the ACT proposal to have the law change date from the time of introduction to Parliament, why did he not seek or welcome ACT support earlier - instead of leaving victims to wonder for a month whether their outrage would be respected?

"I'm looking forward to seeing how much - if any - of the ACT Bill Mr Goff has copied. I suspect he'll have changed the appearance, even where the substance is similar, so he can pretend there was some deep and principled reason why he has let this scandal drag on for six months," Mr Franks said.


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