Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Justice you thought it was safe to go back in the courtroom

Justice is an interesting concept. The first three definitions my dictionary offers are: just conduct; fairness; and the exercise of authority in the maintenance of right.

The first of these definitions requires further resort to the dictionary wherein we find the first definition of just to be acting or done in accordance of what is morally right or fair. So essentially what we have is an agreement among those first three definitions that justice is about what is morally right and fair. That doesn’t seem to match up terribly well with some of the examples of our so-called Justice system in New Zealand. Nor does it have much of an existence in any other aspects of our lives where you might expect to encounter ‘the exercise of authority in the maintenance of right’ or people ‘acting in accordance with what is morally right or fair’.

One reason might be the fact that if you base your concept of justice upon morality you are always going to have a problem when there are so many individualised definitions of that particular concept. Perhaps three better opening definitions for this hard to pin down concept might be:, the exercise of authority in the maintenance of the right (wing): the exercise of authority in the hands of the privileged few who can afford a high-priced lawyer; or acting in accordance with what matches most closely the policy objectives of the Government of the day.

I have been trying hard to understand where this Government stands in relation to the concept of justice. It talks the talk when it suits it or when it makes for a good photo op or PR headline, but when it comes to actually exercising that power or authority it would seem it works on its own set of secret rules that nobody else can fathom.

Individual MPs trample on the rights of their constituents on a regular basis as did Paula Bumfat when she deliberately leaked private details of a woman who had the temerity to complain about her treatment by WINZ.  Then we have that dufus Horon the Moron who seems to think he can stay in parliament as an independent MP when the only people who ‘elected’ him were his own party caucus who have now unelected him. We won’t even go there about what led to his expulsion other than to say if the stories are true it is another example of an MP not acting in accordance of what is morally right.

The Kim Dotcom case is another well publicised example of Government agencies acting in a way that defies the three definitions of justice I mentioned at the start of this. They should just own up. The matter is very simple. He is a New Zealand resident and as such cannot be spied on by the GCSB. He was and therefore they are in the wrong. He had a high profile and had been in the news not long beforehand so there was absolutely no reason why they would not have known he was a Kiwi albeit one with an accent. And it is inconceivable they wouldn’t have known the law in that regard (mind you they are just glorified dumb coppers with sunglasses and shiny suits – so who knows).

But the case that really has my bile mobile is the David Bain compensation issue. If this isn’t one of the greatest injustices ever perpetrated by an unholy coalition of the NZ Police and the NZ Government upon one of its citizens, then I don’t know what is. I realise this is hyperbole and I will now probably bombarded with a thousand other cases more worthy of this honour(?) but I am sure you get my point that this is one I feel very strongly about.

I wasn’t sure at the outset about David’s guilt or innocence as initially I didn’t take much of the case on board. I realised at the time of his conviction that some of the ‘evidence’ was questionable and I felt that he was convicted more on a ‘he must have done it because who else could have/” basis than any solid evidential grounds. At the very start I expressed concern that this might be another miscarriage of justice like the Arthur Allan Thomas case, but I could never have dreamed it would turn out to be such an ongoing Circus of Horrors where the injustices keep on occurring.

The Minister in charge of The Exercise of Authority in the Maintenance of Right (Little Bo-Tox) has trumped even herself this week with her eminently ‘fair and just’ decision to criticise the independent report by Justice Ian Binnie into whether or not David Bain should receive compensation from the Crown for his 13 years in prison.

What makes Bo’s criticism so vile is the fact that she will not release the document so we can all be the judges of whether her assessment is fair and just. But worst of all she won’t even let David Bain see it until she has had the chance to roll in a couple of her own tame lawyers to tear it to bits and discredit it so comprehensively that the question of compo for Davo will sink into a deep pit where she can bury it forever. (Tui ad tagline anyone?)

What makes this stupid woman so stupid is that she actually believes her own PR and hyperbole and she believes we will as well. She is right about a part of that; many of the sheeple of Godzone will believe her bollox. However many others will not; Justice Binnie won’t for one and Joe Karam certainly won’t. A guy who has devoted as much of his life to this case as Karam has is definitely not going to slip away into the shadows of the night. He will come out with guns blazing.

I will make a prediction now. David Bain will get compo despite Bo Tox’s manoeuvres. All this stupid bint is doing is adding to our costs as a nation both in terms of the amount of cash all of this is going to end up costing us and also in terms of our reputation as a place free from corruption and where justice actually exists in accordance with the three dictionary definitions I listed at the start of this blog.

So far this lot has cost us all the time keeping David in jail for 13 years; all the costs of Crown opposing his appeals along the way and the major expenses leading up to and including the appeal to the Privy Council all of which I gather has cost us well in excess of $3M and then we have just forked out the better part of half a million for the report from Ian Binnie and now Little Bo Tox wants to enrich even more of her lawyer mates at our expense before ultimately we will be enforced to pay David out at least a million bucks.

So what does justice really mean in New Zealand given this scenario? Well it means that justice is when the wrong guy gets sent to prison for 13 years, then spends several more years trying to appeal his unsafe conviction and several more years battling for compensation, while the nation foots a bill for what will probably be the thick end of $5-$6M and those responsible for all this expense – the incompetent/crooked cops, various gold-digging lawyers and the Munter of Just-Is walk away scot free.

I must contact the compilers of the Oxford Dictionary and get them to add that definition and put in brackets (NZ).

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