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Labour’s curious stand on prisoner compo

Labour’s curious stand on prisoner compo

While the Labour Government is arguing under urgency in Parliament that compensation should be payable to prisoners who allege ill treatment, its lawyers are arguing the opposite in a courtroom just across the road, says National’s Justice spokesman, Richard Worth.

“In the Alice in Wonderland world of Labour policy, the Government’s lawyers in the Court of Appeal are advancing arguments in direct conflict with Labour’s Prisoners and Victims Claim Bill.

“Parliament has been plunged into urgency and is now into its second day of attempts to speed the passage of legislation which provides a statutory framework for prisoners’ compensation.

“At the same time, the Court of Appeal is in day three of an appeal seeking to reverse court findings that led to five prisoners being awarded a total of $130,000 for alleged harsh treatment while in jail.

“The Labour Government’s lawyers are arguing that no compensation should be payable, and that a court declaration, not compensation, is the proper remedy if breaches of the Bill of Rights have occurred in respect of prisoner treatment. In Parliament the Government is arguing the opposite.

“This is very curious.

“And, to add fuel to Labour’s troubles, it has been forced to enlist the help of the Green Party to muster the necessary votes for the legislation to pass. Last night the Green MP with responsibility for the bill disarmingly said: ‘This is a bad Bill, but we will vote for it’,” says Dr Worth.


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