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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news