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  • Judge Goddard refuses to answer MPs' questions

    The former New Zealand judge who headed a UK inquiry into child sexual abuse has said she will not appear before British MPs to answer questions about her time in charge. Dame Lowell Goddard said for her to be summoned would compromise the inquiry's "independence and integrity".

    She also hit out at "malicious, defamatory attacks" by the British media and said she was disappointed the government had not defended her.

    British MPs have asked the former head of the child sex abuse inquiry to explain her departure amid concerns the government was aware of misconduct claims.

    Dame Lowell Goddard quit in August. Last Friday she denied allegations of misconduct and racism which the Times said had been made against her.

    The Home Office's top civil servant has also been asked to explain to MPs what ministers knew about her resignation. Prime Minister Theresa May and the home secretary may also be asked to appear.

    Asked if the inquiry was now an embarrassment, Mrs May told the BBC: "No, it's very important.
    "We have to remember about all the survivors and victims of child sexual abuse who deserve justice."
    The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales have failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

    Dame Lowell was appointed in February 2015 and became the third inquiry head to quit, resigning in August after 18 months in the role.
    Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the Home Affairs Select Committee at the time that she believed Dame Lowell left because the New Zealand judge "found it too lonely; she was a long way from home"

    But on Friday, the Times reported that Dame Lowell had been accused of making racist comments and being rude to junior staff, and that senior Home Office staff and advisers knew about alleged comments and other complaints.

    The judge hit back at the claims, and called them "false" and "malicious".
    The Home Office later said it had been "made aware of concerns about the professionalism and competence of Justice Goddard" on 29 July, six days before she resigned and several weeks before the home secretary appeared before the committee and made no mention of the concerns.

    The Home Affairs Select Committee wants to question her over claims by senior members of her staff that she was challenging to work with and that a mediator had to be called in to communicate with her.
    But in a letter to the committee, she says lawyers have advised her not to appear, as allegations against her could be repeated under the protection of parliamentary privilege.

    The Labour MP who chairs the committee, Yvette Cooper, said Dame Lowell's refusal to appear is disgraceful.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Q. C.'s Avatar
      Q. C. -
      The word is that Dame Goddard advised the A-G, Christopher Finlayson, that she resigned as she was horrified to find out that:

      1. The UK judges (and the UK justice participants) are not corrupt like her and many of her fellow NZ Judges (and NZ justice participants); and

      2. The UK media (unlike the NZ media) would be pleased to expose her corruption; when 'her' major enquiry eventually found no real widespread abuse of children by the elite of the UK.

      And advised the A-G that her eventually being exposed as corrupt, and the recommendation that she be appointed to the enquiry, would therefore be seen as an utter indictment on NZ Judges, NZ's justices system and his role as A-G, in that he, Chris Finlayson, highly recommended her. And that the UK media would see it as NZ exporting its judicial corruption.

      And further, if she didn't resign, that the UK media would find out that Kiwifirst, Vince Siemer, had made submissions to the UK Home Office on her unsavoury character as a Judge and had referred the Home Office to his Web page. With that exposure in the UK their media would report on the systemic corruption in NZ by its Judges and Crown Executives. Advising the A-G it would be impossible for him to cover-up, or repudiate, the judicial corruption in NZ from the Public and Parliament.

      Thus her resignation and refusal to face the UK PM's questions.
    1. golfa's Avatar
      golfa -
      And some more ....

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