Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Reports into Bain application released

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Justice

13 December 2012 Media Statement
Reports into Bain application released

Justice Minister Judith Collins has today released the reports by Canadian former judge Justice Ian Binnie, QC into David Bain’s application for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and the Hon Dr Robert Fisher’s peer review of that report.

“Hon Dr Robert Fisher, QC has confirmed the report by former judge Justice Ian Binnie, QC is flawed and would not withstand scrutiny.

“Mr Bain has asked the Government, on behalf of New Zealanders, to consider his claim for compensation.

“It would be unacceptable to me and unfair for New Zealand generally and for Mr Bain, to take a recommendation to Cabinet for compensation based on a flawed report.

“Given the high level of public and media interest in this issue, and to respond to Mr Bain’s supporters and Mr Binnie’s calls to release the reports, I have decided to make both reports public. I think this is also important in the interests of transparency of process,” Ms Collins said.

Examples of errors contained in Mr Binnie’s report are:

• In assessing Mr Bain’s innocence, and misconduct by authorities, Mr Binnie made fundamental errors of principle.

• Mr Binnie disregarded any item of evidence that did not prove a subsidiary fact on the balance of probabilities, contrary to New Zealand law. This meant he excluded significant evidence such as blood stains on Mr David Bain’s clothing, the broken glasses, Mr David Bain’s fingerprints on the rifle, Mr Robin Bain’s motive and mental stability, Mr David Bain’s post-event admissions, and Mr David Bain’s admission that he heard Laniet gurgling.

• Mr Binnie regarded the jury acquittal as something that was relevant to whether Mr Bain had proved his innocence.

• Mr Binnie accepted Mr Bain’s version of events without question, except where it directly contradicted other witnesses.

• Mr Binnie arrived at a provisional conclusion of innocence based on one item (luminol footprints), followed by a serial testing of that conclusion, instead of considering the cumulative effect of all evidence. This approach skewed the findings towards innocence.

• Mr Binnie’s approach was markedly generous to Mr Bain in its reliance on background facts sourced from him.

• Instead of requiring Mr Bain to satisfy him on the balance of probabilities, Mr Binnie imposed an onus on the Crown whenever the Crown suggested a factual possibility inconsistent with Mr Bain’s innocence.

• Mr Binnie relied on ‘innocent openness’ defences to turn incriminating admissions or clues into points thought to support Mr Bain’s genuineness and credibility.

• Mr Binnie went beyond his mandate. He did not have authority to conclude whether there were extraordinary circumstances, or make a recommendation on whether compensation should be paid.

• Instead of founding conclusions on the evidence available to him, Mr Binnie drew an adverse inference to the Crown where, in Mr Binnie’s view, the Police ought to have gone further in its investigations.

• In finding serious wrongdoing by authorities, Mr Binnie paid no regard for the need for an official admission or judicial finding of misconduct, and treated as ‘serious misconduct’ actions that were not deliberate, nor done in bad faith.

• Mr Binnie criticised named individuals without giving them the right to respond.

“I would like to thank Hon Dr Robert Fisher, QC for his peer review. The list of errors in Mr Binnie’s report is extensive, and according to Dr Fisher could be vulnerable to judicial review.

“Cabinet needs the best and most complete information to base its decision on and it is in Mr Bain’s interest to have his claim concluded as robustly as possible.

“This is a matter of justice that must be seen to be done, and justice must follow a fair and proper process.

“Cabinet will now consider both reports and will decide on the next steps in this process in the New Year.

“Ultimately, this review will not have an impact on Mr Bain’s claim, apart from causing an unfortunate delay to the decision Cabinet will make,” Ms Collins said.

Copies of reports and applicable correspondence will be available on the Ministry of Justice website at http://www.justice.govt.nz/media/in-focus/topic-library/David-Bain-reports at approximately 5pm today.

A further announcement on Mr Bain’s claim will be made in due course.

ENDS

Note:

Attached are:

• Justice Ian Binnie’s report 02_Justice_Binnies_amended_report.pdf.pdf

• Hon Dr Robert Fisher’s peer review Robert_Fisher_Report.pdf
[Update: Fisher report with request letter, terms of reference etc. (PDF)]

• Summary of key findings of Hon Dr Robert Fisher’s peer review Summary_of_key_findings_Hon_Dr_Robert_Fisher_QC.pdf

• CV Hon Dr Robert Fisher Robert_Fisher_CV.pdf

• Justice Binnie’s response to Robert Fisher’s peer review 07_Response_from_Justice_Binnie.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news