Helen Clark maybe did us a favour by denying the Maori Council a chance to now head for London

February 27, 2013

So where can the Maori Council turn next in its vexatious efforts to nobble your hard-working government’s efforts to flog off a stake in Mighty River Power?

Nowhere.

There was a time when their lawyers would be suggesting they head for London and the Privy Council.

But the Clark Government put an end to that in her ill-considered efforts to reduce this country’s links with the Mother Country, the Monarch and all that…

Maori voters – if they happen to sympathise with the Maori Council and fancied their chances before the law lords – should remember that, next time they go to the polls.

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A judge, a QC and an IOU – they spell trouble when it comes to public perceptions of our courts

April 19, 2010

Some of the goings-on in the Bill Wilson affair are fortifying Alf’s view that we should have stuck with the Privy Council as our top appeal court. It is British, among its great attributes.

Setting up our own Supreme Court bothered him (and still does) because Alf was not confident we had enough judges supreme enough to sit on it.

His jaundiced view is further jaundiced by a Stuff report today on the Crown’s two top lawyers and their failure to correct a submission to the Supreme Court.

Oops. Probably Alf should refer to their alleged failure to correct the submission (bearing in mind this is legal stuff and lawyers are apt to become uppity about the absence of the word “alleged”).
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Welcome Prince William – what a shame we don’t behead anti-royalist rabble nowadays

January 17, 2010

Unabashed royalists like Alf are chuffed that Prince William arrives in New Zealand today for a three-day visit.

He will be there, enthusiastically waving his Union Jack and wearing his tie with the Queen’s face emblazoned on it, when William touches down in Auckland just after 11am.

The prince’s first task will be to visit Eden Park to see redevelopment work and be briefed on plans for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

On Monday, he will attend a wreathlaying ceremony at the National War Memorial in Wellington.

But then – if it hasn’t happened already – the poor bugger will be exposed to the repugnant antics of some of our more odious citizens.

A bunch of protesters is intending to turn up when the prince opens the Supreme Court building in Wellington tomorrow.

Alf is ashamed to say some of our members of Parliament will be among the protesters.

He yearns for the good old days – a few centuries back – when your royals could have ordered the beheading of these rabble-rousing bastards.

In this case they are left-leaning trouble-makers, so their beheadings would lift the nation’s average IQ with two swings of an axe and do good things for the gene pool.

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So what’s to be done to judge in bias case?

November 30, 2009

There’s the whiff of something distinctly rotten wafting from our justice system.

Justice Minister Simon Power has hastened to attend to the source of some of the pong. But not all of it.

He is to ask Cabinet to agree to sweeping changes to our legal aid service

after revelations hundreds of crooked lawyers are ripping off taxpayers.

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The Bain murders: taxpayers have been bloodied too

June 6, 2009

Alf doesn’t want to put a dampener on the celebrations by David Bain and his supporters, after the non-guilty verdicts in the murder trial.

But he wonders how much of the retrial tab should be picked up by taxpayers.

The news media have been full of the story, after a jury yesterday found Bain not guilty of murdering his family – five separate charges – in Dunedin 15 years ago.

The verdicts showed the jury thought the system had got it wrong.

Costs have yet to be finalised, but sources have told The Press a “back of the envelope” total was $4 million to $5m. That does not include the salaries of police, judicial, ministry and court staff who have expended a huge amount of time on the case.

Police are believed to have spent about $500,000 on expenses for the retrial, and legal services provided to the Crown are expected to cost about $750,000 for the retrial and preliminary hearings over two years.

The Legal Services Agency disclosed yesterday that Bain had received $2,056,495 in legal aid to date for his retrial, although many invoices had still to come in.

Bain received $706,127 legal aid for his 1995 trial, his original Court of Appeal hearing and the original appeal to the Privy Council.

Bain supporter Joe Karam has been working 70 to 80-hour weeks since the Privy Council decision in 2007, having hardly a day off, he told The Press yesterday.

He was paid at the legal executive rate of $75 an hour and has been paid for three hours each day of the trial.

Private donations had helped, but had not been more than the campaign had cost him personally, he said.

Now the question of compensation is being raised.

Guess who will pick up the tab for that, if it is awarded?

We shouldn’t take it for granted there will be a payout.

Christchurch QC Nigel Hampton said Bain could apply for compensation. However, his chances of success would be limited because Bain would be required to prove his innocence, which was much harder than proving reasonable doubt to a jury.

But Alf has been hearing lawyers say they think Bain is a very deserving case.

Regardless of compensation, taxpayers have been bloodied, too, by the Bain slayings and the extraordinary judicial consequences.