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The Press
April 7 2008

Peter Ellis let down again by poor justice system
Letter to the Editor
by Rod Maxwell, Ilam

Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker has shown that he is unprepared to take the hard decisions demanded of his position by declining a royal commission of inquiry into Peter Ellis's unjust conviction for paedophilia (March 28).

Like former justice minister Phil Goff, he had obviously not taken time to read Lynley Hood's book, A City Possessed, or even study the history of this gross miscarriage of justice.

I hope that Judith Ablett-Kerr's petition to the Privy Council proceeds. Should it do so, there is no doubt that New Zealand's justice system will again be shown to be lacking. The Privy Council has already overturned five New Zealand court decisions in recent times, which does not indicate confidence in our justice system is warranted.

Margaret Wilson's legacy of a New Zealand Supreme Court does not bode well for the future either, particularly when two of our Court of Appeal judges also sit on the Supreme Court. In the David Bain case last year, the Privy Council loudly criticised our Court of Appeal judges, and I have no doubt that if Peter Ellis's appeal proceeds a similar situation will apply.

I think that the children involved in this sad case were brainwashed, and already one, who is now able to recall her early childhood, has recanted her evidence.