Saturday, July 24, 2004

Our injudious Chief Justice strikes again.

The Chief Justice, Sian Elias, recently gave evidence to the Consitutional Affairs Committee in the UK.  Some of the more salacious comments that have been quoted by the Dominion Post - namely that the name of the Supreme Court was "supremacist" and that Justice Minister's responsibilities were "a bit of a ragbag" do not appear in the transcript and so it is a mystery as to where they come from.  It's noteworthy that the NZ Herald does not repeat these comments.  Another mystery is the time lag between the time the comments were put up and when the Dominion Post spotted it.  I suspect that an informant tipped off the paper but until the providence of these comments are clarified, I'll hold my peace on them for now.  Of similar concern are comments by Thomas Gault who is cited as taking a swipe at Michael Cullen but they do not appear in the transcript nor the Herald report. 

Sian's chief error is then being more blunt to the British than she was here when the Supreme Court was being set up. She states that:

I would like to correct I am sure an inadvertent matter that the Attorney raised and that was that there had been judicial input throughout. In fact, there was no judicial membership of the Steering Committee. I declined an invitation to participate in it and one of the reasons is because of my view that communication between judiciary and the executive and Parliament needs to be formal and needs to be public and I was not prepared for the judiciary to participate in committee discussions in camera in a back room.

If she isn't prepared to tell our parliament about her concerns then she has no business in telling the British about them.  What she's done is to go outside the tent and piss on it.