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Commission Of Inquiry Must Investigate Corruption

20 January 2002

Commission Of Inquiry Must Investigate Court Corruption

"Corruption in the Court system is a common occurrence", FARE spokesperson Darryl Ward said today. He renewed the call for a Commission of Inquiry following disclosures on Page 2 of yesterday's Dominion that a senior Christchurch psychologist, who was due to give expert evidence in defence of Peter Ellis at his trial in 1993, was heavied into not giving evidence by a Justice Department gatekeeper who had influence over the decision of which psychologists received state funded work.

"It is well known that psychologists and others who work in the Family Court routinely tailor their evidence because their state funded work dries up if they do not follow the orthodoxies that the gatekeeper officials require of them. This is a significant factor behind the Court's covert discrimination against fathers and their children".

"Our Court system includes numerous court bureaucrats, counsels for children, lawyers representing parents, counseling coordinators, counselors and others who live out of each other's pockets, referring tragically avoidable cases from one so-called professional to another, all of them making tidy earnings off the back of the taxpayer. Anyone who threatens this scam in either the Family or other Courts is quickly thrown off the back of the gravy train as the Christchurch psychologist found out. We have had numerous similar disclosures from lawyers unable to truly represent children's bests interests when acting as Counsel for Child as they would lose their state livelihood if they were to upset the gatekeepers who hold the purse strings".

"We have been made aware of such corruption and the suffering that it causes our children for over a decade by confidential disclosures from numerous professionals trapped in the system. Now that such practices have finally been made public, there can be no more excuses for the government's failure to take action".

"Accordingly we demand the urgent convening of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate such corruption in our Courts, with all hearings and evidence being public, with independent Commissioners being appointed from outside of the Courts and government departments to ensure that there is no cover-up".

"This ongoing corruption is repugnant to justice, and must be thoroughly investigated if we are to ever have any confidence in our judicial system again", concluded Ward.

ends


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