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Privy Council should stay

Privy Council should stay; Supreme Court unnecessary

Christian Heritage supports maintaining the right of appeal to the Privy Council and does not believe the new Supreme Court will serve New Zealand as well.

“Labour’s claim that the cost of travelling to London is a good reason to abolish our link to the Privy Council is ironic in light of Labour’s raising of Court fees by several hundred percent,” said Party Leader Graham Capill.

“The Privy Council does not cost the taxpayer anything,” Mr Capill continued.

“If the reason to have a Supreme Court is the cost to appeal outside the country, a fraction of the $5 million cost to the taxpayer to establish the new court could be given as assistance to litigants to go to the Privy Council.

“New Zealand is a small society. The Privy Council is removed from the pressures and inevitable internal connections in a small society. This is perhaps more important to the concept of justice than the other things the government is promoting as enhancing justice.

“The concept of the senior Court being multinational is being increasingly accepted around the world; most European countries now accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The legislation introduced today flies in the face of this new trend.

“Many Maori are concerned that the abolition of the appeal to the Privy Council will cut a vital link to the crown. The Judicial division of the Privy Council is technically not a Court, it is a body that tenders advice to New Zealand’s head of state, which, by convention, is always accepted. A Privy Council appeal is a direct appeal to the Queen. This direct appeal to the Queen will be lost with the creation of a Supreme Court.

“The proposed Supreme Court model will require additional taxpayer funds and is likely to lead to greater judicial activism,” Mr Capill concluded.


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