Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts