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

 


Collins’ back-down proof of over-hasty decision

Andrew Little
Justice Spokesperson

21 June 2013

Collins’ back-down proof of over-hasty decision

Another back-down by Judith Collins, this time on legal aid, highlights just how pointless her appeal to the Supreme Court was, although the jury is still out on whether more changes to the scheme go far enough, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

The government implemented a new scheme of fixed fees for lawyers doing legal aid work in a bid to reduce the country's legal aid bill last year.

“That’s resulted in more than 200 lawyers pulling out of the scheme amid complaints it is too rigid and underpays lawyers for the work they do.

"The Court of Appeal's criticisms of the present scheme were measured and fair. Lodging an appeal the day after the decision, as Ms Collins did, was just plain dumb.

"The Minister should have got to work straight away consulting the Law Society and the Criminal Bar Association on improving the scheme. She didn’t.

"The Appeal Court noted the scheme needed to be more flexible so lawyers dealing with unusually difficult cases could apply for additional payment for extra time.

“It also said the Legal Services Commissioner was required to act independently of Government ministers.

"The new guidelines released today are a start. However, the proof that the Commissioner and the Government have taken on board the court's criticisms will be in how future applications for additional fees are handled.

“On that score, the jury is still out.

"Legal aid remains an essential means for those on low incomes to ensure they have access to legal advice and representation when faced with prosecution or civil claims that fall under the scheme. Anything that undermines that should be a concern.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 
 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news