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2014 survey on judge's published

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  • 2014 survey on judge's published



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    What do we know about our judges? Thanks to kiwisfirst.co.nz, a little more this week, with the release of its 2014 survey ranking of 63 judges.
    This is the second survey, four years after the legal blog’s first release.

    Publisher Vince Siemer says that despite the survey being anonymous, lawyers were generally more fearful this year following recent prosecutions of lawyers who expressed their honest opinions about judges. He says roughly 100 respondents participated.

    “Judges wield more power in New Zealand than members of Parliament, yet we know nothing about them, this is by design given that the appointment process is itself secret”, asserted Mr Siemer. He points to the Supreme Court scandal which erupted since his first survey as a reason why this lack of knowledge exacts a hefty, entirely hidden, cost on society.

    In 2010, Supreme Court Justice Bill Wilson resigned amid revelations of an undisclosed conflict of interest, presiding in a case where he owed the lawyer appearing before him a six figure sum. Emails between retired Court of Appeal Judge Sir Edmund Thomas and Bar President Dr James Farmer revealed the concerns the men had over being exposed, with Dr Famer expressing alarm that the scandal would likely bring down the Chief Justice if probed.

    Mr Siemer considers the lack of any such probe is indicative of a deeper problem with a court system he asserts is not only off the rails but insulated by judicial appointments of lawyers who are closely related or belong to the same clubs.

    Dr Farmer confirmed as much in the email exchange, saying to Sir Edmund he considered his friendship with the Chief Justice was more important than any concerns he had regarding “the system” and imploring the former judge not to talk about judicial impropriety.

    Concerns about the partiality of the judiciary are nothing new. Ten years ago a former chief district court judge who helped the Catholic Church with media inquiries relating to paedophile priest Alan Woodcock claimed he did not try to cover up Woodcock's previous sexual offending.

    The police said the role played by Judge Peter Trapski, and other aspects of the case,would go under a microscope, but no report was ever released

    Woodcock, ordained a priest in 1972, was convicted in 1979 of a sex offence against a 17-year-old male. Despite this, he was appointed a teacher at St Patrick's College in Upper Hutt where some of the offences took place.

    Judge Trapski, an old boy of St Patrick's, was consulted by the Catholic Church in 1994 when one of Woodcock's victims went to the media. A church document says Judge Trapski, who was chair of St Patrick's trust board at the time, advised the church to place "confidential material" about Woodcock into his employment file but within a separate envelope labelled "secret".

    Woodcock pleaded guilty to 21 charges relating to the abuse of 11 boys in the 1970s and 1980s .


    • Hugo
      #11
      Hugo commented
      Editing a comment
      Keep it in the family....

      Originally posted by Yoda
      Do you think that this type of information should be widely available in New Zealand?

      What do you think about the alleged nepotisim and cronyism regarding the appointment of judges in the New Zealand?
      I found part of the answer to my own question.... Ellie Harrison of Mc Elroys, ( indemnity insurance ) is the daughter of Court of Appeal Justice Rhys Harrison, who coincidentally worked for Mc Elroys years ago.

      Only question now.... Is Justice Gary Harrison related to Ellie and Rhys too?

    • Q. C.
      #12
      Q. C. commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Hugo
      I found part of the answer to my own question.... Ellie Harrison of Mc Elroys, ( indemnity insurance ) is the daughter of Court of Appeal Justice Rhys Harrison, who coincidentally worked for Mc Elroys years ago.

      Only question now.... Is Justice Gary Harrison related to Ellie and Rhys too?
      It does not matter. As the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, in his 21 August 2015 Report to Parliament (just published), stated at paragraph 20 that:

      "The mention of corruption, in particular, again merits some explanation. In some instances, a complainant has alleged that a Judge has been corrupt. The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner take such an allegation especially seriously. But their investigations have revealed nothing that even hints at corruption. Some complainants do, however, conclude that the fact that a Judge disagrees with their (to them) self-evidently logical contentions must, in itself, be clear evidence that there has been corruption at work. But in no instance, so far, has any supporting information been proffered - or revealed, upon examination - to support the assertion."


      Apparently no NZ judge is capable of being corrupt, on the proviso the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner investigate their alleged corruption. The complainants are all idiots.

      Or; is it that the Commissioner is hiding something from Parliament?

    • Hugo
      #13
      Hugo commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Q. C.
      It does not matter. As the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, in his 21 August 2015 Report to Parliament (just published), stated at paragraph 20 that:

      "The mention of corruption, in particular, again merits some explanation. In some instances, a complainant has alleged that a Judge has been corrupt. The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner take such an allegation especially seriously. But their investigations have revealed nothing that even hints at corruption. Some complainants do, however, conclude that the fact that a Judge disagrees with their (to them) self-evidently logical contentions must, in itself, be clear evidence that there has been corruption at work. But in no instance, so far, has any supporting information been proffered - or revealed, upon examination - to support the assertion."


      Apparently no NZ judge is capable of being corrupt, on the proviso the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner investigate their alleged corruption. The complainants are all idiots.

      Or; is it that the Commissioner is hiding something from Parliament?

      It appears that given how small NZ is and how tight the, small judiciary is, impartiality, does exist, however not, and will never be acknowledged, until perhaps now, with social media, if enough of us start talking it will stoke up public interest in what appears to be New Zealand's dirty little secret.
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