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 Kim Regime

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US had a very clear objective and eventually offered a quid pro quo of the removal of some of its own missiles from Turkey. This time, there’s no clarity about what the US is seeking, or offering.

It hasn’t helped that the US and the global media consistently agree on calling North Korea and its leadership “crazy” and “irrational” and urging it to “come to its senses”. When you treat your opponent as being beyond reason, it gets hard to comprehend what their strategy is, let alone work out the terms of a viable compromise. More>>

 

Recovery: Economic Impact Of Kaikōura Quake Revealed

The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts... The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million. More>>

ALSO:

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

ALSO:

CORRECTIONS (March 2017):

SCHOOL SECLUSION ROOMS (2016):

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news