An electoral petition to get him out of prison for a few days

Stuff reports:

Minister John Key’s lawyer has dismissed criminal litigator Arthur Taylor’s claim that Key unlawfully won the electorate, saying there’s “no evidence to substantiate his claims”. 

Taylor, a serving prisoner with more than 150 convictions, is petitioning the court claiming Key’s election as MP for was unlawful because about 650 prisoners at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo were excluded from voting in the electorate. 

He challenged the result on the grounds that the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010 was invalid because it prevented about 8600 prisoners in the country’s jails from registering or voting.

After hearing Taylor’s arguments in the High Court at Auckland today, Key’s counsel Peter Kiely made his opening afternoon, saying there was no evidence to support Taylor’s claims. 

Taylor was not registered to vote in last year’s election, was not entitled to vote and therefore “has no standing” to challenge the result, Kiely said.  

Taylor is likely to never be released from prison. So he does various lawsuits as a way to get out occasionally. It’s a joke electoral petition with no possibility of success.

Earlier today, Taylor argued that there was no rational reason to disqualify prisoners from voting, saying punishment wasn’t a legitimate reason, claiming it served the political interests of National to ban prisoner votes, and that the knock-on effect was that many prisoners wouldn’t bother voting once they were released from prison either. 

It doesn’t matter whether or not you think prisoners should be able to vote. The law was changed so they could not. An electoral petition should be about if the law was followed, not a way for someone to say they don’t like the law.

Taylor protested the fact he wasn’t provided a desk in court, unlike the four lawyers representing Key and the Crown, and two friends of the court, had claimed all the available bench space in the small courtroom.  

He was instead given a desk in the prisoner’s dock for his paperwork.

Poor diddums.

Taylor is presenting his case at the three-day hearing in front of Justice Geoffrey Venning, Justice Helen Winkelmann and Justice Paul Heath despite Justice Rebecca Ellis ruling earlier in September that prisoners being denied the right to vote wasn’t inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Ac

Three days? Ridiculous.

Comments (35)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment

%d bloggers like this: