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New Zealand Justice on Trial

New Zealand Justice on Trial
Media Release

17 October 2006

The Australian courts have permitted extradition of two clergymen to New Zealand to face sex charges. PeterEllis.org hopes that our justice system will heed Australian Justice Madgwick, who raised serious concerns that the men may not receive a fair trial in New Zealand, spokesperson Richard Christie says.

In particular

* Will the two men receive separate trials from each other in
New Zealand? Joint trials would likely be regarded as unjust
in Australia and not occur.

* Will the jury be given a strong warning by the judge as to
the very real problems in meeting such old allegations? In
Australia the accused would have such a guarantee.

* Will the two men face "representative charges"? Such
charges are not permitted in Australia, where Justice
Madgwick quite rightly pointed out: "How can a man
defend himself if he doesn’t know when the alleged offence
is supposed to have happened?”

* Will the jury be warned of the dangers associated with mass
allegation cases, including concoction or unconscious
contamination of complainant testimony? Many of the
complainants were interviewed repeatedly by the same
psychiatrist and attended victims’ group sessions.

* Will the jury be warned that the reliability of the complainants
evidence is hopelessly compromised by the tens of
thousands of dollars offered to anybody willing to claim that
they were victims of abuse?

PeterEllis.org hopes that the New Zealand Law Commission does not react to the extradition decision by dismissing the concerns raised by Justice Madgwick about the New Zealand justice system. The Commission could take the advice of Judith Ablett-Kerr QC and seize the opportunity to examine the way Australia deals with the issues, to see if we can improve our own system.

Support[at]peterellis.org.nz; "Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, both past and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic"


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