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Law scapegoat inflicted on Parliament

Law scapegoat inflicted on Parliament

Tuesday 14 Dec 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

Shifting Margaret Wilson to the Speakership is a ruthless solution to a political problem but is too late to rescue the Justice Ministers, ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Ms Wilson has carried the public blame for legal debacles such as the hopeless conduct of the Crown defence against compensation claims by prisoners and the Relationships (Property) Act, which 'married' for property purposes - without their consent - some 200,000 New Zealanders in de facto relationships.

"Further, she was closely involved with the Prime Minister's panicky reaction to the Court of Appeal's seabed and foreshore decision that has resulted in the Government's capitulation to Maori threats and delivery of up to 40 percent of aquaculture as a race privilege.

"Ms Wilson has failed to defend judges from unfair political criticism. When given Parliamentary opportunities to show the independence expected of an Attorney-General, in upholding the rule of law, political expediency has ruled.

"This is a cunning move by the Prime Minister. Ms Wilson may carry away the blame for her own and Phil Goff's failure to manage the Justice portfolio.

"Scapegoats historically were sent to carry blame into the wilderness. As Speaker, Ms Wilson will carry it to Parliament as a whole. Helen Clark will find that this is not far enough away from the Labour Justice cabal left behind," Mr Franks said.


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