The Press
June 25 2003

The Press Says

Wilfully or otherwise, Justice Minister Phil Goff continues to fail to see the point about the petition for a royal commission on the Peter Ellis case.

The complete list of those who have joined the call includes two former Prime Ministers, nine Queen's Counsel, three professors of law, and a former judge of the High Court.

These are calm, unhysterical people who have no advantage in aligning themselves with this case. After careful consideration, they come to the conclusion that the case raises so many unanswered questions that it merits further examination.

Mr Goff continues to believe that the examination the case has already had from the courts and an inquiry are sufficient.

They are not. Mr Goff should remember that the Thomas case had two full trials and appeals, three petitions, and two inquiries before a further inquiry established what had really happened.

What is required from Mr Goff is a tough-minded political decision. The petitioners raise grave doubts that strike at confidence in the justice system. In Opposition he once supported a full inquiry. Life in Government, surrounded by cautious civil servants, is different. Mr Goff should follow his earlier judgment and call for a royal commission now.