Review of Act should see judges’ interests established
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Review of Act should see register of judges’ interests established, but action needed in the meantime
The Law Commission’s review of the Judicature Act should open the door for a register of judges’ interests to be established on a permanent basis in New Zealand, Labour’s Justice Spokesperson Charles Chauvel said today.
“Labour is clear that a compulsory register of judges' business and pecuniary interests should be included in new legislation governing how New Zealand's courts work.
“The Commission has released the first in a series of papers on the review, and has called for submissions on whether such a register should be created.
“Creating a register is particularly important in light of the need to maintain confidence in public institutions, including the judiciary. We should add more transparency to our judicial system and ensure that judges do not preside over proceedings where they may have a conflict of interest.
“Labour supports the recommendation, but recognizes that the Commission’s report will not result in a law change any time soon. Action is required from the Government in the meantime, either by adopting and advancing the existing private member’s bill on the order paper on the subject by way of an interim scheme, or coming up with its own interim scheme.