Some issues are beyond politics. The Peter Ellis case and convictions are one of them.
I totally endorse the call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Ellis case. One needs the latitude a full commission of inquiry has, to deal with the public’s deep scepticism over this case.
It should be in the interest of all politicians for there to be confidence in the justice system. The Ellis case corrosively undermines that confidence. While convictions are not a public popularity contest, I know of almost no-one who thinks the Ellis convictions are safe. And this is based on a massive amount of published research on the case.
Annette King is the Minister of Justice. It is a pity she will not consider the merits of the case herself (she cites conflict as she is also Police Minister) as I have considerable regard for her judgement and ability. I think she could and would see the bigger picture (it is not just about Ellis who is now free – it is about the wider justice system). Lianne Dalziel can not be delegated the case, so it will fall to Clayton Cosgrove or Rick Barker.
The Minister who deals with this needs to be able to consider the issues carefully using their own judgement. They should not merely ask officials for a report and rubber-stamp it. I can tell you now that of course the Ministry of Justice will oppose a Royal Commission into the Ellis case.
I know many (not all) National MPs have a deep concern over the Ellis case. Katherine Rich and Don Brash helped lead the charge a few years ago for such a Commission. While I can in no way speak for them, I am sure National would in no way criticise the Government if it did hold a Royal Commission. And I think all the minor parties would be supportive.
There will be a lot of partisan behaviour this year in the NZ blogosphere. What would be great though is to have as many blogs as possible join a campaign for an Ellis Royal Commission. We have one of the true experts on the case with Poneke, and could keep the case in profile by doing stuff ranging from all displaying a prominent graphic calling for the Royal Commission, to pledging to blog or link to a blog on the issue at least a fortnight or something. I am sure Poneke could generate enough material for us to link to or summarise.