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Judges pecuniary interests bill pulled from ballot

Kennedy Graham MP
kennedy [dot] graham [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
Tag: Justice

A Green Party member's bill pulled today from the Parliamentary ballot aims to provide greater transparency within the judicial system, Green Party justice spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said.

The Register of pecuniary interests of judges Bill would require judges to make an annual return of their pecuniary interests to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner. This information would be made publicly available.

"The purpose of my member's bill is to promote greater transparency within the judicial system," said Dr Graham.

"The messy situation around former Justice Bill Wilson could have been avoided had New Zealand had a register of the financial interests of members of the judiciary.

"While the case against Justice Wilson is no longer an issue, it was the perception of a conflict that led to his resignation.

"The Bill will assist those in the judiciary to avoid any conflict of interest in their judicial role," said Dr Graham.

"The primary purpose is to protect the judiciary by relieving each judge of the onerous, and somewhat subjective, burden of determining whether a conflict of interest exists with regard to each particular case.

"Open and honest government is the cornerstone of our democracy and promoting transparency for the judiciary can only assist New Zealand's reputation."

Link to the Bill:

http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/register-pecuniary-interests-judges

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