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Justice Minister Suffers Y1K Bug

The Justice Minister believes that the justice system should be brought into the 21st century. His desire to weaken the right to trial by jury looks more like something from the 11th century.

Trial by jury has been an essential part of civilisation for eight hundred years - since the 1215 signing of the Magna Carta, the first hopeful glimmer at the end of the Dark Ages. Trial by jury is one of the defining features that separates civilised cultures from barbarism and tyranny.

"The right to trial by a jury of our peers is one of our best protections against the overarching power of the state," Libertarianz Justice spokesman Bernard Darnton notes. "But reigning in the overarching power of the state doesn't seem to concern the current government, now does it?"

"Given that organisations like Inland Revenue have managed to dispose of other inconvenient cornerstones of justice such as presumption of innocence, further erosions of the rule of law shouldn't come as much of a surprise - but they are certainly a concern."

Darnton is also concerned about the dishonest language used in this debate. Advocates speak of "improving" the practice of juries, and of "solving the problem" of "rogue jurors" who don't deliver the required verdicts.

He reminds us: "When everyone's rights are looked after, we are all free. When the rights of even a few are curtailed, none of us is free."

ENDS

=====

For further information please contact: Bernard Darnton LIBERTARIANZ JUSTICE SPOKESMAN zilog@ihug.co.nz

* LIBERTARIANZ * More Freedom * Less Government *

www.libertarianz.org.nz www.freeradical.co.nz


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