Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Privy Council: Lessons From Australia

Privy Council: Lessons From Australia

"An item in the June issue of the New Zealand Law Journal is highly relevant to the debate on the Privy Council", the executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr, said today.

"Attorney-General Margaret Wilson has argued that there is no need for a referendum on the Privy Council because neither Australia nor Canada had one when those countries abolished appeals to that court.

In the Law Journal article, respected academic Geoffrey Walker points out, however, that in Australia there was broad public and political consensus in favour of abolishing appeals when the decisions were taken.

"Similarly, in Canada all the major political parties supported the decision to cut ties with the Privy Council.

"There does not appear to be this level of consensus in New Zealand. A major constitutional measure should not be adopted on the same basis as an ordinary bill. That is why many organisations have been saying that a 75 percent vote in parliament or a referendum should be required to establish that a broad consensus for change exists and to ensure the legitimacy of any new court.

"Professor Walker also makes the interesting point that without the oversight of the Privy Council, Australia's High Court went "off the rails" for 15 years in its administration of tort and contract law, at great cost to business and the community.

"Business organisations have been emphasising the value of the Privy Council to New Zealand as an internationally respected authority on commercial issues. Its jurisdiction reduces uncertainty and transactions costs for business, with benefits to investment, growth and the wider community. Many more commercial cases go to the Privy Council than cases involving Maori interests."

Mr Kerr said that in recent weeks, parliament's Justice and Electoral Committee had been seeking the opinions of retired judges and others who had been longstanding advocates of ending Privy Council appeals.

"They have shown scant recognition of the fact that the commercial community is the largest user of the Privy Council's services, and of the point that the issue is a major constitutional one that should demand more than ordinary parliamentary consideration.

"Professor Walker's contribution is a welcome balancing item", Mr Kerr concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news