Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On The Jami-Lee Ross Saga

In the end, the Jami-Lee Ross tweet about secretly taping his leader and promising to use it – assuming that such a tape exists, and wasn’t just being conjured out of thin air as a random threat – is a more serious offence than the original leak.

After all, even the PWC report hadn’t finally and definitively pointed the finger of blame at Ross, but had cited him merely as the most likely suspect. More>>

Press Conference Video: Jami-Lee Ross Plans By-Election, Police Complaint
National MP Jami-Lee Ross is to resign his seat and step down from the National Party, and will stand as an independent in any by-election for his Botany seat... Speaking to media at Parliament, he alleged Mr Bridges had broken electoral donation law and said he would put in an official police complaint. More>>
ALSO:

 

Education Amendment Bill Proceeda: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>

ALSO:

Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>

ALSO:

Fate Of Tahr Sealed: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Fuel And Leaks

Other topics included the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, the relation between the Government moves against high fuel prices and the commitment to act on climate change, NZTA's failures in compliance checks ... More>>

ALSO:

New Hager Investigation: War Crimes, Sexual Assaults And Coverups In Armed Forces

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017... More>>

ALSO:

Israel's Anti-Boycott Law: NZ Activists Fined Over Lorde Cancellation Raise $12k For Charity

New Zealand activists being fined in Israel for urging pop singer Lorde to cancel her concert have raised more than $12,000 for a Palestinian charity. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels