Greens launch judges' pecuniary interests register
Greens launch register of judges pecuniary interests
The Green Party has launched a member’s bill to set up a pecuniary interest register for judges.
“The recent media coverage involving Justice Wilson has highlighted the lack of transparency around judges’ financial interests in New Zealand. Having a register of judges’ pecuniary interests would promote transparency and open government, and help stop perceived conflicts of interest occurring,” said Green Party Justice Spokesperson, Kennedy Graham.
“Members of Parliament are required to maintain an annual register of their financial interests and it seems eminently sensible that a similar system is set up for judges.”
The Bill would require judges to make an annual return of their pecuniary interests to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner. This information would be made publicly available.
“The Green Party recognises that it is vital for healthy democracy that judicial independence is protected and this bill will in no way interfere with this independence. This register is about making sure that all the branches of our democracy are open and transparent.
“Other countries, such as Argentina and most parts of the United States require members of the judiciary to disclose their financial interests.
“We would like to work constructively with the Government to develop a robust system for managing judicial conflicts of interest as there is currently a gap in our constitutional arrangements.
“Open and honest government is the cornerstone of a fair and free democracy, and the Green Party is committed to promoting high standards of transparency,” said Dr Graham.
For more information:
Register of pecuniary interests of judges bill - http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/register-pecuniary-interests-judges