LawFuel – The Law Newswire – Read LawFuel’s ‘NZ Law Jobs Report’ Free on LawFuel – The Privy Council decision quashing the conviction of David Bain for the multiple murders of his family members raises serious questions about the efficacy of New Zealand’s current appeal courts, according to lawyers involved in the Bain cases.
Talking on New Zealand radio, Michael Reed QC, Colin Withnall QC and Michael Guest, all of whom have been involved in the Bain cases at different times, with Reed appearing on the Privy Council appeal, asked serious questions about New Zealand’s appeal process now that the Privy Council has been dispensed with.
The lawyers generally agreed that having dispassionate, experienced and intelligent jurists sitting beyond New Zealand added a rigour to the appeal process that could not be easily accomplished in New Zealand.
Reed noted that two of the new, New Zealand Supreme Court members had heard “almost identical” evidence relating to the Bain case when, as members of the New Zealand Court of Appeal, they had dismissed the appeal.
Other commentators have noted that the decision raises serious doubts about the sense in New Zealand disposing of its ultimate appeal to Europe.
Although many have indicated that it was time New Zealand had its own appeals system, Reed noted that even in Britain their highest court was subject – along with the rest of Europe – to judgments from the European Court of Justice.