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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: The PM’s Hair-Pulling Power Trip

There have been striking differences between (a) the account of the waitress involved in the hair-pulling incidents, and (b) the account being given by Prime Minister John Key. The version by the waitress is available here and is recommended to anyone yet to read it. By her account, there were multiple instances of hair-pulling and these persisted and persisted long after she had made her annoyance clear to Key – who had also been advised by his wife, and by other café staff that the behavior was evidently not being welcomed. More>>

ALSO:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news