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

 

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news