Thursday, September 16, 2004

Seabed Judicial Review: the aftermath

It's been two days since I last blogged on this topic and I am still no clearer on what happened. The anticipated questions in the house never materialized because either it passed Turia by (improbable as some other MPs have commented on the topic) or that people are waiting for Margaret Wilson to turn up. In any case, some mighty odd statements are being bandied about.

In the Press the next morning, the NZPA report that I referred to earlier, had the additional information that:

NZPA understands the appointment of a new judge is the court's response to the government seeking a judicial review and the Crown now believes a fresh look will be taken at whether the claim should get a substantive hearing.

Has the NZPA never heard of the principle of Judicial Independence? The NZ Herald clarifies where the drivel is coming from:

[Margaret Wilson's] spokeswoman said the invitation for the Crown to file a new adjournment application with Judge Milroy was behind the decision to drop the judicial review against Judge Wickliffe.

"It believes the legal principle behind the review is now being addressed, i.e. a judge with no legal bias is now hearing the claims."

Lovely ambiguity. Who invited the Crown to file a new adjournment application? I could have sworn there was another news item yesterday that reporting the allegation that the Judicial Review was a delaying tactic because the new Judge also had Ngai Porou descent (the original grounds for Judge Wickliffe to recuse herself). Since it has disappeared and Judge Milroy's allegiances are with the Tuhoe and the Ngai Whakaue, it seems that the allegation was hurriedly retracted once its falsity was pointed out. It's a shame that CBS couldn't be so quick.