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Cullen plays games with Law Society

Richard Worth
National Party Justice Spokesman

31 March 2005

Cullen plays games with Law Society

The new Attorney General is determined that the Lawyers and Conveyancers Bill will not pass in this session of Parliament, and has chosen to misrepresent the position of Opposition parties, says National’s Justice spokesman, Richard Worth.

“National has made it plain that with some reservations it supports the bill. It represents a substantial advance on the current law and will provide greater protection for consumers of legal services,” says Dr Worth.

“Dr Cullen shows a measure of intellectual dishonesty in ascribing to National the wish to embark on a marathon debate. The Government plans major amendments to the bill in short notice amendments that it has put up.

National’s amendments are concerned primarily with two issues:

- An amendment to retain the status of Queen’s Counsel

- Amendments to remove the role of the New Zealand Society of Conveyancers. The Justice and Electoral Select Committee heard evidence that there might be five or six persons who would be qualified to join the society and there is no justification for a highly prescriptive statutory regime for such a limited occupational grouping.

“The Select Committee made its report on this bill on 27 July, 2004, and the Government has deliberately decided to let this bill languish,” says Dr Worth.

“It is a poor start to the unpromising career of the new Attorney General, Dr Cullen.”

Ends

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