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.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news