An e-mail from Charles

May 3rd, 2012 at 3:32 pm by David Farrar

e-mailed his Labour colleagues today:

Dear Colleagues

If you are home in time this evening to watch it, you might like to tune in to Court Report on TVNZ7 (Freeview and Sky77) at 9.30pm. 

I’ll be on the panel to discuss, in the words of the show’s publicity blurb, ‘the storm brewing between the and the Government’.  This is an issue that is likely to become more significant as time passes.

The show also features commentary from electoral law specialist Hayden Wilson on the Banks scandal.

Linda Clark is the host.

If you miss it on TV tonight, it will also available online at www.tvnz.co.nz/the-court-report

 Regards

Charles

Nice of Charles to try and increase the viewer ratings for TVNZ7.

One of the Labour MPs offices forwarded it onto lawyer Deborah Manning, but also accidentally forwarded it to all DIA Ministerial addresses, including the Attorney-General.

It is a Labour special tonight, as Hayden is also a fairly well known Labour activist. Not that this means his views are not worth listening to – they are.

The issue that Charles is discussing is a rumour that the number of Judges will be reduced by 20 or so as a cost cutting measure. Now you can not make Judges of the High Court (higher court judges are also High Court judges) redundant under S23 of the Constitution Act 1986:

A Judge of the High Court shall not be removed from office except by the Sovereign or the Governor-General, acting upon an address of the House of Representatives, which address may be moved only on the grounds of that Judge’s misbehaviour or of that Judge’s incapacity to discharge the functions of that Judge’s office.

No wriggle room there.

District Court Judges come under the District Court Act 1947, where s7 says:

The Governor-General may, if he thinks fit, remove a Judge for inability or misbehaviour.

Every Judge shall retire from office on attaining the age of 70 years.

Not quite the same level of protection as High Court Judges. The principle is an important one – Judges should not have to worry about job security in case they offend a Government of the day.

Now I have no idea if the Government is looking to reduce the number of Judges (but the number of cases going to court is falling), but if they are I’d be very very surprised if it was done by anything other than natural attrition.

Tags: ,

15 Responses to “An e-mail from Charles”

  1. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    I haven’t heard such a rumour, although it may be a Wellington one still. They often hear things before the rest of us.

    I don’t see how they can reduce the number of judges other than by attrittion.

    There are a number of retired judges that come back part time that they could not issue temporary warrants for, but otherwise they would appear to be stuck.

    It is worth noting that it was only a few years ago that they increased the number of judges that the A-G can appoint, so this would be a real change of direction.

    That said, I do wonder if they will then blame the increased backlog of cases on defence lawyers? You know, like they did when the widened the eligibility for criminal legal aid and then said it was our fault that the amount they spent went up?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Alan Johnstone (907 comments) says:

    They’ll do what is done in the UK when they want to get rid of a Judge, they’ll starve them.

    You can’t sack them, but nowhere in law does it say they have to be given cases to sit on.

    They just sit at home doing nothing, has the same effect.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. alex Masterley (1,437 comments) says:

    I haven’t heard any rumours to that effect in my recent visits to the district court in Auckland.

    I know MOJ is on a cost cutting crusade which is affecting some services that we take for granted.

    the only way the numbers of judges could be reduced is by not appointing new judges when vacancies occur.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Be nice to see them get rid of the case backlog before they start sacking anyone.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Nookin (2,887 comments) says:

    Maybe declare a few people — some known to us — to be vexatious litigants! Twould ease the load

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Tauhei Notts (1,508 comments) says:

    Channel 77.
    It is National Socialist Radio with Pictures.
    It comes out of Wellington and is there to cater for the very very good friends of the MP for Wellington Central.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. tvb (3,937 comments) says:

    There are a number of very good and experienced Judges on a temporary warrant after their nominal retirement. I assume as their warrants come up for renewal those warrants will not be renewed. Sadly there are some very good Judges affected by such a policy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Monty (944 comments) says:

    Chucky is a pathetic self-important prick. The guy is a legend in his own mind only. Any thing he says is best ignored.

    No other person I know has ever plastered every certificate (including one for trying hard awarded in the the standard 3 egg and spoon race at his primary school in about 1985)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Viking2 (10,690 comments) says:

    Well MOJ is a LOOOOOONG way from being efficient. Indeed they are repsonsible for the tenancy tribunal which has gone from hearing cases in 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months.. Now there’s an improvement for ya.
    Investors quitting their houses becuase justice is on the never never.
    The elephant in the room is going to be housing. Very soon especially if the RBNZ does what Spencer said thaey are considering and forcing the Banks to work under a dictated loan to value ratio. (won’t work of course. Never did previously and won’t in the future. Psst, I have a car worth $100,00. Take that as added security. haha
    These turkeys never learn.

    A bit like the Foreign Affairs dept.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    “An e-mail from Charles”

    I was going to comment on this topic as I inferred it was an email from our future Monarch, Charles the Third.

    When I realised it was an email from Charles the Turd I decided not to bother. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    I have to visit the judge next Tuesday, any hope he may be missing from the court, wishful thinking I would say. :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. mister nui (880 comments) says:

    Johnboy, I think you left the word “pusher” out of your last sentence……..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. GPT1 (2,042 comments) says:

    I haven’t heard this either. If less judges needed then govt will just hold back on temporary warrants for retired judges.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    One must never upset the sensitivities of our mutual host mister nui.

    This I have learned, to my cost, in the past! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. freemark (321 comments) says:

    Would convicting them of incompetence, corruption, greed and being out of touch with Society get rid of them.. there are plenty past their use by date, or far too susceptible to the “oral” arguments of otherwise muff munching Klark encouraged barristers, especially in the Family Court. The whole legal system is ready for a shake up Stalin style, sooner the better.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.