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Time to Abolish Privy Council Appeals Says CTU

Time to Abolish Privy Council Appeals Says CTU

“Ending appeals to the Privy Council will affirm this country’s identity as a developed, democratic and independent nation,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson told a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing submissions on the Supreme Court Bill today.

Ross Wilson and Te Makao Bowkett, representing the CTU’s Maori structure -Runanga O Nga Kaimahi Maori, appeared before the Select Committee on behalf of more than 300,000 unionised workers affiliated to the CTU.

“The CTU considers that this is an important next step for New Zealand,” said Ross Wilson.

“We cannot feel confidence in our own abilities as New Zealanders while we continue to go to another country for our final appeals.”

Canada abolished all appeals to the Privy Council in 1949, South Africa in 1950 and Australia between 1975 and 1986.

“Maori workers have expressed concern about the general under-representation of Maori in the Judiciary,” Te Makao Bowkett said.

“If a new Court is to be created this issue must be addressed. Our final Court of Appeal should be more representative of New Zealand society and we should be actively building the capacity of Maori in the legal profession to achieve that for Maori people.”

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