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Initiative On Privy Council Welcomed


MEDIA RELEASE
Initiative On Privy Council Welcomed

The Business Roundtable has welcomed the initiative of ACT, National and New Zealand First to seek citizens' opinions on the government's proposals to abolish appeals to the Privy Council.

"The parties' statement that "We want to firmly establish a convention that substantial constitutional changes should not be made by a bare majority vote of a coalition of minorities in Parliament" is a principle that we strongly support", executive director Roger Kerr said.

"Much contemporary economic research is emphasising the vital importance of sound and stable institutions, including an independent judiciary, for business operation and economic growth, which is the government's stated top priority. Unless business and investors have confidence in the quality of administration of the rule of law and the upholding of property rights and contracts, investment and growth are discouraged.

"Severing appeals will put at risk the independence and detachment which the Privy Council has provided, and the situation will be worse if the decision is not sanctioned by broad public and political support (as it was in Australia and Canada when those countries cut their ties with the Privy Council).

"We should be able to look in particular to the Attorney-General and our senior judges to insist on proper constitutional process for a constitutional decision of this magnitude.

"So far that has not occurred, and for that reason the opposition parties deserve credit for putting the issue in the public domain", Mr Kerr said.

ENDS

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