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Chief Justice beware of wading into politics

Richard Worth
National Party Justice Spokesman

10 February 2005

Chief Justice beware of wading into politics

National's Justice spokesman, Richard Worth, says the Chief Justice should be more cautious about wading into political debate.

"Dame Sian Elias' assertion that the Sentencing Act 2002 is a 'restrained and sophisticated' statute is yet another unwelcome contribution by her to the political debate," says Dr Worth.

"The issues around sentencing will be at the very core of political debate in this year's election, and the political parties have dramatically divergent views on the usefulness of the statute.

"Dame Sian has, therefore, taken political sides during election year. This is wholly contrary to her constitutional role.

"It is her job to apply the law passed by Parliament, not to draw political favourites.

"In this instance, it looks strikingly as though she is making the choice for Labour," says Dr Worth.

"How can she expect other political parties to have confidence in her ability to impartially and fairly interpret the law as the nation's Chief Justice when she enters herself directly into the political debate?"


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