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

 


Minister Should Change Legal Aid Policy to Reflect the Law

Minister Should Change Legal Aid Policy to Reflect the Law

The Government should accept the Court of Appeal’s finding that its legal aid changes are unlawful and reverse them, the Green Party said today.

The Criminal Bar Association won its case before the court on Friday with a finding that cuts to legal aid took away the independence of the Legal Services Commissioner. Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced she will appeal the decision.

“The National Government has yet again been found to be breaking the law and its predictable response is to appeal the decision rather than start complying with the law,” Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon said.

“Should the appeal fail we can expect another rushed law change.

“Given the National Government’s go-to position whenever it’s found to have broken the law is to retrospectively amend it, rather than comply, I expect a bill is being drafted right now to do that.

“New Zealanders are expected to follow the law but this National Government considers itself above the law and has repeatedly made changes that fail to meet legal requirements or human rights obligations.

“Organisations and ordinary New Zealanders should not have to engage in expensive and stressful court action to have their rights upheld, and when they do win they should not have to fear the law will be rewritten.
“While court action continues, legal aid applications should be processed using the previous system. It is nonsense for the Minister to argue they would need to be frozen.

“The Justice Minister Judith Collins needs to ensure legal aid payments are enough so that New Zealanders get fair representation in court. Sadly the more likely result is another law change which means that the Government controls legal aid funding and vulnerable groups like low to middle income earners will struggle to get representation,” Mr Clendon said.

The National Government recently introduced a bill to make previously illegal spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau legal, and another to remove the right of family members caring for disabled children from appealing decisions around payments.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news