Judge warns Govt it is breaking the law again

Newshub reports:

A High Court judge is questioning the legality of the Government’s ban on compassionate exemptions from managed isolation – and warned them to fix it.

It follows a case of a returning Kiwi challenged the ban, but tragically never got to say goodbye to his father, who died before he got his day in court.

Graeme Hattie returned from London and was going to sit out the 14-day quarantine to see his dying father. …

Auckland High Court was ready to host the hearing this week, but sadly Hattie’s father died overnight. Hattie therefore withdrew his court action. 

However Muir has issued a warning to the in a note.

“The extent the Director-General purports to have currently suspended all compassionate leave from managed isolation… would appear to be inconsistent with proper exercise of discretion in [the order],” he said.

“There appears to be an urgent need for the Director-General to address the terms of the current [purported] blanket suspension.” 

Hattie’s lawyer went a step further, saying the ban on compassion exemption was “illegal”.

“They have an obligation, at law, to consider the particular circumstances of each applicant applies for compassionate leave. They cannot refuse them all on a blanket basis. That is illegal,” Foote said.

This is a near repeat of the earlier case, which they lost. The doesn’t seem to realise that a press release can’t trump the law. If they really want to end compassionate and exceptional waivers, they need to change the law which allows them.

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