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52% tyranny of a majority

Maxim Institute
Media release

09 October 2003

52% tyranny of a majority

Major constitutional change to abolish the 162 year old right of appeal to the Privy Council must have widespread public support, says Maxim Institute Director Bruce Logan.

"Proceeding to severe this important link with just 52% support of Parliament amounts to tyranny by a slim majority. It is an abuse of power that shows how easily our liberty can be threatened."

New Zealanders must have a say on whether they want appeals to an esteemed international court cut off and replaced by a Wellington based Supreme Court, says Bruce Logan.

"The Labour administration supported by the Greens has no public mandate for this move. Instead it is fulfillment of an ideological agenda."

Maxim Institute supports the amendment to the Supreme Court Bill for a referendum requiring 66% public support to abolish Privy Council appeals before a local Supreme Court is established.

Mr Logan says United Future is to be congratulated for deciding to oppose the Supreme Court Bill and declare its support for the referendum promoted by ACT, National and New Zealand First.

"United Future has rightly acknowledged that a constitutional change of this magnitude must have significant public support. This is not a decision or process that should be rushed."

By ignoring the opposition expressed by the business and legal communities the government has demonstrated its agenda is more important than addressing genuine concern, says Mr Logan.


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