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Mandatory drug testing for judges and lawyers ?


  • Mandatory drug testing for judges and lawyers ?

    After several high profile drug cases involving members of the New Zealand Police and the legal profession, the New Zealand Justice Forum today called for the mandatory drug testing of all officers of the Court.

    These recent convictions have shown that the legal professions, like other segments of New Zealand society are not immune from the ravages of drugs and alcohol, leading to delusional behavior. Forum spokesperson Mark Adams said today; “ Whether it is half a dozen nips over lunch or a crack pipe in the briefcase, professional people should be subject to the same scrutiny as road workers or bus drivers.”

    A recent conviction of 67yr old Wellington lawyer Keith Jeffries for methamphetamine offences raises concerns that other members of his profession, including judges put the general public at risk by being impaired or incapacitated through alcohol and drug abuse or addiction.

    In another case, the Judicial Conduct Commissioner is currently considering a complaint against Court of Appeal Justice Rhys Harrison for incapacity, after he made a ruling that demonstrated he had neither knowledge of the Court of Appeal Rules nor the subject of the application before him.

    An increasing number of law firms are drug testing job hopefuls amidst the rising number of highly publicised incidents involving lawyers using or selling drugs. Law firm partners are increasingly concerned with potential reputational damage that might stem from a lawyer getting caught up in a drug-related scandal.

    The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA), which operates in Australasia, is conducting nearly four times the number of hair drug tests it performed last year, in both Australia and New Zealand. “Eighteen months ago a pre-employment hair test in this sector was a rarity,” said TDDA chief executive Kirk Hardy.

    “There is a real concern out there amongst the professional sectors that employees engaging in drug use are exposing these firms to some very big risks, this is potentially increased when you have employees that are dealing with money and looking after their clients personal affairs.”

    The hair test, detecting a more frequent and prolonged history than urinalysis or oral fluid, is what testers are calling a ‘lifestyle test’, rather than determining one off usage.

    Of the 32.6 per cent of tests returning a positive result to drug usage, many are court-ordered. However, Hardy said the organisation has seen a significant rise in the number of positive results in executive and professional sector pre-employment testing, particularly over the last 12 months.

    “Hair testing is fast becoming one of those checks employers are now conducting prior to employing someone, similar to the criminal background, credit checks and referee checking.

    “I think with the increase we are seeing it will become part of the normal hiring process for a majority of the professional organisations, the companies that do not drug test will soon attract a different caliber of employee and it’s not the type you would want working in your environment,” Hardy predicted.

    Figures from the NZ government say that drug and alcoholism costing New Zealand companies an estimated $6.5bn in lost productivity.

    “If you involve substance abuse, then you are talking about clouded judgments, it affects the ability to make sound decisions,” Hardy said.

    “Will someone showing methamphetamine use be more prone to possibly committing fraud or some form of possible criminal activity? I would argue yes.”
    Attached Files

    • 1victim
      1victim commented
      Editing a comment
      Blaming their "delusional behaviour" on drugs and piss is a feeble deflection away from the reality of the matter.....

      .... to use one of their own cliché's : "Leave emotion out of it and stick to the facts".

      The FACT is ...... New Zealand judges, lawyers, and police are CORRUPT !

    • golfa
      golfa commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Yoda
      What is quite surprising in New Zealand is that governmental corruption is quite obvious, and, apparently, many people know about it.

      It is very strange, from the perspective of an outsider.

      What do judges, lawyers, and police do?

      What are they supposed to do?

      Maybe, there are some fundamental problems in New Zealand, which should be discussed openly in the public.
      Here's a quote from Frederic Bastiat (1801 - 1850) that covers it .... "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
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