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Labour should consult on appointments

Chris Finlayson MP
National Party Shadow Attorney General

25 November 2005

Labour should consult on appointments

The National Party is disappointed that Labour chose not to properly consult the Opposition before making the appointment of Sir Geoffrey Palmer as President of the Law Commission.

“National would probably have supported the appointment of Sir Geoffrey, had we been asked,” says Shadow Attorney-General Chris Finlayson.

“In an evenly divided Parliament, it is important that major appointments have broad political support.

“While Labour might have made the correct choice in this case, future appointments should be made on a more transparent basis, so the public can be confident that judicial appointments especially are being made on merit.

”In my maiden speech to Parliament, I noted that an important aspect of the rule of law is meaningful and timely law reform. Some years ago, Sir Geoffrey was asked to evaluate the Law Commission. His report was released in April 2000,” says Mr Finlayson.

It said: ‘A fundamental change of attitude to law reform is required. Law reform has been neglected in recent years. New Zealand will suffer if proper repairs and renovations to its statute laws are not performed. The law needs to be kept up to date to reflect developments in new technology and business practices. New Zealand is probably falling behind its trading partners in this respect.’ - Sir Geoffrey Palmer April 2000.

”Five years have passed and nothing has happened. Sir Geoffrey certainly has much work ahead of him and I look forward to being kept up to date with his progress,” says Mr Finlayson.

ENDS

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