Hope legal aid isn’t funding this

The Herald reports:

David Bain has filed a High Court claim against Justice Minister Judith Collins seeking a judicial review of her actions since she received the Justice Binnie report last August.

The claim includes allegations Ms Collins has breached Mr Bain’s rights to natural justice and his rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, acted in bad faith, abused her power, and acted in a biased, unreasonable and predetermined manner.

Mr Bain’s long time supporter Joe Karam said in a statement today that Ms Collins had stated she intended to recommend further options to Cabinet on Monday.

“In the circumstances, a request has been made to the Crown that any further action in relation to David’s claim be deferred pending the outcome of this judicial review,” Mr Karam said.

He said Mr Bain had “anguished” over the prospect of returning to court and did so only reluctantly.

It’s a delaying tactic, which is ironic as they have complained about the delays.

Ms Collins said the compensation application fell outside Cabinet guidelines and was entirely at Cabinet’s discretion.

“I have taken steps to ensure the process is fair and proper throughout.

“Put simply, it would be unacceptable for Cabinet to base its decision for compensation on an unsafe and flawed report. That would not have resulted in justice for anyone, let alone Mr Bain.”

She said Mr Bain’s request for the Government to put the compensation application on hold while a judicial review went ahead would only result in a further delay.

Ms Collins would not comment further while the matter was before the Courts.

I would be amazed if the judicial review gets anywhere. The Bain claim for compensation in fact falls outside the Cabinet guidelines. Bain and Karam have asked for Cabinet to use their discretion to give him compensation even though he doesn’t qualify outside the guidelines. It would be highly unusual for the courts to injunct a Minister from reporting an issue to Cabinet involving a discretionary decision.

The Cabinet could in fact have just said “No, you do not qualify – go away”.

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