Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Immediate pardon constitutionally unsound

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Justice

11 August 2013       Media Statement       

Immediate pardon constitutionally unsound  

Justice Minister Judith Collins says reports suggesting the Government could issue an immediate pardon to Mr Teina Pora are wrong.

"There would need to be a thorough evaluation of Mr Pora's application for the Royal prerogative of mercy, and that cannot take place alongside his application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council," Ms Collins says.

"As I have previously indicated, there are two options for persons such as Mr Pora who wish to have their convictions reopened: either an appeal to the Privy Council or an application for the Royal prerogative of mercy.

"The Privy Council can quash a person’s conviction and either enter an acquittal or order a retrial.  The Governor-General, who exercises the Royal prerogative of mercy in New Zealand, can grant a pardon or refer a person’s conviction back to the Court of Appeal.

"Mr Pora filed an application for the Royal prerogative of mercy in September 2011. At the time the application was filed, his lawyer advised that the application was incomplete but that he was making concerted efforts to gather further evidence.

"As is entirely appropriate, his lawyer also considered whether an appeal to the Privy Council would better meet the needs of his client.

Which path he chooses - Royal prerogative of mercy or Privy Council appeal, is entirely a matter for Mr Pora and his lawyer.  I understand that Mr Pora has now chosen to pursue the appeal to the Privy Council and an application for leave to appeal will be filed shortly.

"It would be constitutionally unsound for the Government to be considering Mr Pora's convictions at the same time through the Royal prerogative of mercy. That, and the need for a thorough examination of all evidence relied on by the applicant, is why the Government cannot immediately issue a pardon to Mr Pora.

"In Arthur Allan Thomas' case, a pardon was granted only after he had used his appeal rights and his right to apply for the Royal prerogative of mercy. Mr Thomas was granted a pardon after a thorough examination by Robert Adams-Smith QC of the evidence. This followed the Privy Council declining leave to hear Mr Thomas' appeal.

If Mr Pora's Privy Council appeal does not go ahead, or if it is unsuccessful, it is open to Mr Pora to resume his Royal prerogative of mercy application and bring forward all the evidence he wants considered.  The application would have to be fully investigated before the Government decided whether to grant a pardon, refer the case back to the courts or decline the application.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Panic In The Pacific Over China

For years, it has been no secret that China wants closer security and trade ties with the small nations of the Pacific region. All part of Beijing’s self-image as a global superpower. To that end this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the Pacific, aimed at convincing his Pacific hosts to join a cross-Pacific agreement that would let Beijing provide them with high-level police training and security, shared data co-operation and other joint services ranging from agriculture to tourism...


Covid-19: Second Vaccine Booster For The Most Vulnerable
People who are at high-risk of getting very sick from a COVID-19 infection will soon be eligible to receive a second booster, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>

Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

PM Speech: Harvard University Commencement Speech - Democracy, Disinformation And Kindness

In Te Reo Māori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, I paid tribute to all of the esteemed guests who stand here in this great forest of knowledge. It is a privilege to be here, and I thank you for the honour... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>




InfoPages News Channels