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    The New Zealand Justice Forum aims to pool the collective experiences of our citizens, lawyers, and academics in order to discuss the many defects that weaken the integrity of the legal system.
  • Judge Goddard Shipped to United Kingdom for Inquiry

    Official comments from the United Kingdom lauding the appointment of New Zealand High Court Justice Lowell Goddard to head an Inquiry into broad child sexual abuse have legal doyens in New Zealand privately scratching their heads.

    Goddard J scored dead last in the 2014 poll of New Zealand judges last year, with many lawyers extremely critical of Lowell’s opportunistic public stances, liberties with the truth and contrarian judgments.
    But let us not be burdened by the empirical truth when we should celebrate Home Secretary Theresa May thinks so highly of Goddard to appoint her after the first two appointees (Fiona Woolf and Elizabeth Butler-Sloss) crashed and burned. Labour MP Simon Danczuk also released a statement saying, It is obvious that the home secretary has cast the net far and wide in order to find an appropriate person and I applaud her for doing so.’

    ‘Far and wide’? Certainly ‘far’. But let the Brits learn first-hand the hazards of deep sea fishing. Too often you risk pulling up useless debris from the bottom because you ignorantly cast your net in shallow waters. Hopefully there is no prohibition on investigative reporting on Goddard J in the U.K. as there is at home where the honourable judge writes her own press and zealously orchestrates her public image. Her resume says she is at the forefront of human rights and women’s rights and Maori rights. A more impeccably manicured person you will likely never see. Busy lady.

    Contrast Goddard J’s resume with her legacy. She was appointed to the Independent Police Conduct Authority after she complained sitting on long cases in the High Court were too stressful on her back. Her days on the IPCA were mired in secrecy, political manoeuvring and tardy rulings. She routinely sided with Crown immunity, suppression of information and against human rights. Even where public pressure was so great as to force a ruling police had acted oppressively, as in the silencing of peaceful protests during the 1999 visit of the Chinese President, her finding was released 8 years after the fact.

    Ever the equal opportunity disheveller, Lowell Goddard had a hand in derailing at least one police investigation into criminal judicial conduct when she was deputy solicitor general. She later helped appoint the alleged criminal offender as her deputy at the IPCA (refer to story on Judge Michael Lance in Goddard J’s bio on www.kiwisfirst.com.)

    So what did the Home Secretary mean when she assured MPs this week that Goddard’s Inquiry will not be thwarted by the Official Secrets Act in an investigation which will delve into governmental department files in circumstances where there is little doubt of complicity by officials in the scandal? A hint might lie in comments of the ‘fixer’ Home Secretary May has appointed. “The inquiry will be long, challenging and complex,” predicted Goddard J.

    Experience tells us you can take Goddard J’s assessment to the bank.

    reprinted with permissions from www.kiwisfirst.com
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Q. C.'s Avatar
      Q. C. -
      "Goddard J scored dead last in the 2014 poll of New Zealand judges last year..." Your survey must be wrong! No Judge could possibly score lower than Harrison J and Potter J (at 60 and 61 out of 62 surveyed).

      If correct or not, the UK public is going to be in for a terrible surprise.
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