Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Uproar In Britain After Court Ruling 20 Years Ago

Judicial Uproar In Britain Following New Zealand Court Ruling 20 Years Ago

LawFuel - The Law Jobs and News Wire

A New Zealand Court of Appeal decision on anonymous evidence from undercover policemen has created legal mayhem in the United Kingdom, with rushed legislation being used to preserve several hundred trials at risk from a House of Lords decision.
The House of Lords decision resulted in the quashing of a conviction of a man charged with an East End double murder.

The decision to quash the double murder conviction resulted in Britain’s Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, pushing through emergency legisation to avoid criminals walking free following the law lords’ decision.

The first casualty of the ruling was a £6 million pound Old Bailey criminal trial but with dozens of other trials also threatened by the ruling.

The Old Bailey trial of two men accused of shooting east London businessman Charles Butler was stopped after lawyers considered the Law Lords' decision. The £6m-trial, which was nearing the end of the prosecution case and was the culmination of a multimillion-pound four-year inquiry into the shooting and alleged police corruption. The jury was discharged after two months of hearing evidence with four witnesses having given evidence under false names and from behind screens.

The House of Lords decision resulted in a political uproar with claims that judges were getting too much power and that the ruling threatened the very security of Britain.

The Justice Secretary Jack Straw said that it was a matter of balancing the right of defendants to know who is giving evidence against them and the need to protect the community."On one hand everybody must expect the right to a fair trial, on the other, there are these awful cases involving guns, gangs, drugs and knives where witnesses are terrorised. "We have to correct that."

The trial that started the uproar, relating to Iain Davis’ double murder conviction, was presented with a 1986 New Zealand Court of Appeal decision from Sir Ivor Richardson, who said in respect of anonymous witnesses: “The right to confront an adverse witness is basic to any civilised notion of a fair trial. That must include the right for the defence to ascertain the true identity of an accuser where questions of crebility may be an issue.”

In his ruling, Lord Bingham, who headed the panel of judges, said that the conviction could have been achieved without anonymity, but that anonymity had "hampered the defence" in a way which was unlawful and rendered the trial unfair.

Read More at www.LawFuel.co.nz – Legal News and Legal Jobswire



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sending An Orion P-3 To Tonga

Because the undersea volcanic eruption in Tonga cut communications with the more remote parts of the country, it wasn’t at all surprising that as a good Pacific neighbour, New Zealand sent a reconnaissance aircraft up there to gather information about the extent and location of the damage. The more interesting thing was which plane we sent. It was an old P-3K Orion. It wasn’t one of the four fancy P-8 Poseidons that the New Zealand taxpayer spent north of $3 billion to purchase and to equip, only a few years ago...


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>

Crown: Duke Of York’s NZ Military Patronage Appointment Ends
Buckingham Palace has recently announced that, with the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

Financial Advice NZ: Law Changes Locking Out Home Seekers, Urgent Meeting Sought With Government

Recent changes in consumer finance law on top of Government policy changes are locking many home seekers out of finance options they would have qualified for just six weeks ago, says Financial Advice New Zealand... More>>




InfoPages News Channels