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


Legal aid fixed fees decision appealed

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

27 May 2013

Legal aid fixed fees decision appealed

Justice Minister Judith Collins says leave to appeal the recent Court of Appeal decision that the process for implementing the fixed fees policy for criminal legal aid payments was unlawful has been filed in the Supreme Court.

“I am pleased the Court of Appeal found the fixed fees policy in itself is not unreasonable and that cutting the spiralling costs of legal aid is a lawful purpose of the Legal Services Act 2011,” Ms Collins says.

“Although the Court found the process of implementing the policy unlawful, and that it unreasonably restricts the Legal Services Commissioner’s discretion, it rejected that the policy is unlawful in any other respect. Previously, the High Court had dismissed the Criminal Bar Association’s arguments.

“The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on a remedy, and the Criminal Bar Association did not seek one. So, unfortunately pending clarification from the Court, or the outcome of an appeal, we have been left without a clear way forward.

“It is not in the public interest to stop processing legal aid applications – there are approximately 1215 applications per week. So, the Crown has today applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court to quash the Court of Appeal’s decision.”

The Crown has also advised the Court of Appeal that it intends to continue with the status quo until a final determination is made.

“We can’t simply freeze legal aid applications and payments pending the outcome of the appeal, and it’s utterly impractical to immediately revert to the previous framework,” Ms Collins says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news