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

 

Ground breaking report into Superdiverse parties in courts

The Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business is releasing its latest report today on Culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse parties in the Courts: A Chinese case study.

The Report’s author, Mai Chen, Chair of the Superdiversity Institute said “Superdiversity is deepening in New Zealand. Census 2018 showed that the percentage of people not born in New Zealand was 27.4%, an increase from 25.2% in Census 2013. Census 2018 data also shows the biggest increase in ethnic group is the Asian population. The percentage of New Zealanders who identified with at least one Asian ethnicity grew from 11.8% in 2013 to 15.1% in 2018. The People’s Republic of China was the third most common place of birth after New Zealand and England. By 2038, Statistics New Zealand has projected that Asian peoples will comprise 35 per cent of Auckland’s population.”

The Report is a global first in applying a Superdiversity Framework to determining the issues and challenges to culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse (CALD) parties in getting equal access to justice in courts.

Former Attorney-General, the Hon Chris Finlayson QC writes of the Report in his foreword “this is not a work to be read and shelved but read and implemented throughout the justice system. There is no going back. Major demographic change will not be reversed so we must all adapt to the new world. Not some time in the future but now.”

The Report examines the key issues and challenges faced by the justice system in ensuring equal access to justice for CALD litigants in New Zealand courts and makes 36 recommendations. It includes perspectives from judges, lawyers and interpreters, drawn from interviews with senior court judges, practitioners and prosecutors with experience of CALD parties and interpreters. It also includes a review of relevant data and literature and a substantial case review with analysis of over 100 cases involving parties of Asian ethnicity since the year 2000.

The research in the Report indicates that the cultural background and language limitations of many Asian and Chinese parties who come before the New Zealand senior courts affects:
• The way they present evidence;
• The way they respond to questioning of their actions and motivations;
• The way they verbally or physically express themselves or visibly show (or fail to show) emotions such as remorse, empathy or contrition;
• Their sense of what is the right thing to do when they perceive that a particular outcome could reflect adversely on their personal honour or that of their family (“mianzi”);
• Their confidence in representing themselves without the assistance of legal counsel and their sense that this is not a disadvantage;
• Their expectation of how judges will determine the “truth” – an inquisitorial process where the truth is distilled from an active judge-led examination and evaluation of competing perspectives of what happened and why, or an adversarial process where the judge determines which of two competing versions of the truth he or she finds more credible;
• Their expectation that judges will take account of who they are, and their status and wealth, in determining credibility and the “truth”. To that extent, they assume that judges are not truly independent;
• Their willingness to accept that they have been treated fairly and that the court did give them a fair opportunity to be heard; and
• The ability of New Zealand European lawyers to understand their clients’ instructions and motivations for their actions.
Ms Chen said “With the increasing number of New Zealanders not born here and coming from very different rule of law cultures, there is a burning platform to adapt New Zealand’s legal system to ensure those people can get equal access to justice. The Report is therefore relevant to all New Zealanders of a different culture, ethnicity, religion and language background, to those who advise them, or who work in the Courts, or train or regulate lawyers, to law firms and to mediators of legal disputes.

The former Attorney General Hon Professor Margaret Wilson in her foreword stressed the importance of increased resourcing relating to interpreters and cultural aware training of all members of the legal community, including judges, lawyers and court officials.

The Report will be launched in Auckland today (and livestreamed to Christchurch) and launched in Wellington on Wednesday, followed by CPD events to better train lawyers to ensure equal access to justice in courts for their culturally and linguistically diverse clients.

The Superdiversity Institute thanks the Ministry of Justice, the New Zealand Law Foundation and the Borrin Foundation for their support of this important report.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


 

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

ALSO:


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels