Courts Matters Bill and Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill- First Reading – Video 2

Courts Matters Bill and Tribunals Powers and Procedures Legislation Bill- First Reading – Video 2

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the house the questioners of the motion B group joke oh please Thank You mr. speaker pledge to take a call on this the courts meters bill and the tribunals powers and procedures legislation bill and mr. speaker it is very easy on the presentation of the minister’s argument for both of these bills to say is anything that makes the administration of justice more effective more efficacious there’s obviously a desirable thing but I have to say I do take some personal discomfort when I start seeing the language of greater efficiency and greater productivity applied to the processes of justice when I see that we have the language language that has talked about includes providing consumer protection as well as greater access to justice no question or qualms about greater access to justice but consumer protection can we just remind ourselves that most people who go to court whether it’s in the civil jurisdiction or the criminal jurisdiction and most people who turn up to a tribunal are generally they’re not because they want to be there but because something has happened to them that they didn’t want to have happen or if there are answering as a defendant or a plaintiff a defendant or respondent they are there against their will but because they have to defend their position or their interests – so let’s not start regarding processes of justice as somehow you know akin to going to McDonald’s and whether or not you get fries with it that is not about a better consumer experience when it comes to justice one thing is necessary and that is that everybody who appears before a judicial body or a body acting judicially or quasi-judicial II goes away feeling if not immediately then certainly within months that they have been treated fairly that their voice has been heard and that the claim that they have advanced or that they have defended has been heard and treated justly that’s the only thing we ask of our expensive judicial system whether it’s the formal courts whether it’s some more informal tribunals in the end what matters most and the reason we have a justice system is for public confidence in the conduct of our public officials and in the private transactions that we enter into that’s what we have a justice system for and that’s what we must achieve here so there are some things in these bills that clearly are worthy of consideration and that is why we will support these bills in this first reading so that they will get the close and proper examination by a select committee that they clearly need to hear when I have a look at in the courts matters bills anything that will enhance the security of courts particularly the district court which is dealing with a vast array of different cases and under different criminal legislation as well as some civil cases it is important that those who turn out to our courthouses and our courtrooms know that they can do so without the fear of being molested without the fear of being interfered with without intimidation and without violence which does happen so if the court security officers need additional powers to ensure that that happens then we will not stand in the way of that and we expect that that what goes with additional powers to ensure the safety and security of our court processes or the conduct of our court processes is that those officers will receive the appropriate training so that they can discharge those powers and ensure the safety and security of all those in the courtroom and in the courthouses appropriately when I have a look at the changes to the Criminal Procedure Act again this is where I think the claims of the need for greater efficiency and greater productivity need to be measured against you know what is happening right now and what uses of the court system the council the judges the staff and obviously those appearing is defendants or parties to claims we need to hear from them as well because what is one person’s greater efficiency may well be another person’s injustice and we’ve certainly seen I’ve certainly seen plenty of that and my time too says the summary proceedings Act changes allows for the chief executive of the ministry to approve automated decision making for imposing attachment orders to collect overdue fines and those sorts of things which on the face of it sounds like a desirable thing but as somebody who has himself being the victim of an extraordinary efficient system who got issued a parking ticket only a few years ago and the first I knew about it as when the payroll office of Parliament here told me that I had an attachment order on my parliamentary salary I have to say sometimes I think maybe the efficiency goes too far there Wellington City Council who issued the ticket when it went unpaid apparently could not track me down although they knew their registration number and the address of their registration number of the car was the juice that I was resident it they could not they still not could not track me down but they made an application to the court to have an attention water they knew exactly where I was so it didn’t reflect well on the Wellington City Council and I took issue at first with the court processes but they followed the rules and I was of course naturally happy to pay the fine although by that time it had been pretty much paid through the attention order there wasn’t a lot more that I could do so I just say mr. speaker claims for greater efficiency have to be tested against you know the real lived experience of people who you know they might have a parking ticket most people and I am one of them I get a parking ticket I like to dispose of it as quickly as possible and when I say disposed of but not throw the ticket away but actually pay the fine and that needs to be reflected in the processes and systems that we have in our courts so I do just if the bill passes and changed I will be asking the chief executive of the Ministry of Justice before he or she goes approving automated decisions for imposing attachment orders is that they also have systems to make sure that their people who are at the end of those attachment orders know that they are going to be treated fairly properly and of course justly other other changes you know assisting the assembly of juries to make sure that jurors who are called upon to act and their capacity very important part still of our criminal justice system and also ever civil system because of course as we all know I know through a recent experience that it in defamation hearings it is up to the plaintiff and the defendant to decide whether or not it is heard by a jury and you do want to make sure that jurors when they’re hearing the evidence fully cognizant of it understand it and our understanding of the language in which the evidence is given and I think that is appropriate to make sure that jurors are properly equipped so that they can understand the evidence being given there is a desirable thing to do again for all of these things the test ultimately is in not just greater efficiency but with the interests of justice the interests of the fair treatment of people who are before the courts is going to properly be served and so on that note I’ll say that on both pieces of legislation the court matters bill and the tribunals powers and procedures legislations bill both of which are predicated on this need for greater efficiency greater productivity we will support both we will support both of them having their close examination of the content of course that won’t happen now till after the general election and of course I you know fully trust the house in whatever form it isn’t after the election and whoever is on the Select Committee whoever is cheering at whatever members and whatever side of that those committee tables they are that this house will give due consideration to it it is very important that when this house is passing legislation relating to the administration of justice because we are seen as you know the old that the highest court in the land when we are making rules about the administration of justice we must make sure that those rules give rise to effective justice that those rules are the best that they can be and that this has and making those rules and considering legislation that sets those rules that this house acquits itself as if it takes seriously the administration of justice and ensuring that every citizen who comes before our courts tribunals the the most informal of our tribunals that everybody understands that they will be treated fairly and properly and with the dignity that we would expect of every citizen in this our great democracy so mr. speaker as I say we will support these bills we will vote in favor of them today making sure that our justice system is effective in administering justice is absolutely crucial to public confidence and all our systems and we want to see that achieved with these pieces of legislation I called sure daily I think you Mr Speaker I rise to take a short call and support of the court matters

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