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Judicial System Comes Of Age

16 April 2002

Judicial System Comes Of Age With Privy Council Abolition

“The establishment of our own Supreme Court signals the coming of age of our judicial system,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

“The Bar Association is exhibiting colonial cringe in defending the continuation of the Privy Council as our final court of appeal,” he said.

“We produce fine lawyers here who are in touch with our culture and responsibilities and it is disappointing that some of our senior lawyers are claiming inferiority to the judges from the UK and other countries, including New Zealand, who sit on the Privy Council.”

Ross Wilson said there were many advantages in the prospective reform from the point of view of the ordinary New Zealander.

“Firstly it will increase access to justice at this level and at least give the ordinary New Zealander the possibility of access to our highest court at an affordable cost.

“Secondly it will provide high level review of areas of law like employment law which have been subject to arbitrary decisions of the Court of Appeal which have exceeded their intended jurisdiction,” he said.

“But most importantly it will be an expression of confidence in ourselves as a nation.”

Ross Wilson said abolition of the Privy Council anachronism was long overdue.

“Arguments for retaining the Privy Council on the basis that it is a high level justice on the cheap for New Zealand are an embarrassment,” he said.

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