The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

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This page last updated December 16 2008


16 Dec 2008  Ministry of Justice advice to Minister Rick Barker
Ministry of Justice hopelessly compromised on Ellis case;
Their advice on holding a Commission of Inquiry professionally negligent

Document obtained from the Ministry of Justice details the advice that has been given to the then Associate Minister of Justice Rick Barker on holding a Commission of Inquiry. 

The advice given to Rick Barker is provided in a letter from the Chief Legal Counsel, Jeff Orr, to researcher Ross Francis:

2008-1014 - Ministry of Justice - Letter from Jeff Orr to Ross Francis 

The advice given to the Minister is really pathetic, and in our opinion, professionally negligent..

The advice shows how hopelessly compromised the Ministry of Justice is when it comes to providing advice about the Peter Ellis case. They cannot even begin to consider even one of many potential advantages in having a commission.    Justice staff appear to have lost all objectivity.

The concerns that this site expressed yesterday about the type of advice that may be given to the new Minister, Simon Power, are demonstrably real. The Ministry of Justice have shown they are incapable of delivering impartial advice

More analysis to follow


16 Dec 2008  Transcripts of Interviews with Lynley Hood

Dr Lynley Hood was interviewed by TV1 Breakfast and Radio Live: (Extracts):

“It’s a case that doesn’t go away for a whole lot of reasons. Not just the questionable conviction of Peter Ellis which to anybody who has looked at it closely with half a brain can see that it was a botched investigation into a crime that never happened, but the ramifications go so wide to all the other peoples whose careers were damaged and destroyed by the case, and a city ripped apart all on the basis of an ambiguous comment by a three year old boy. And you ask, how can this happen?”

“A Commission of Inquiry can go so far beyond the issues of the guilt or innocence of Peter Ellis. It can actually look at what happened, How an ambiguous comment from a three year old boy can ....destroy so many lives. It can look at what is wrong with the investigative procedures that can’t distinguish between true and false allegations and a justice system that can’t reliably separate out the guilty from the innocent, and that’s a worry for everybody. And it can look at issues like the belief that still affects men in teaching that all men, even the most decent of men are in part a dangerous sexual predator that can’t be trusted around children. That is just so toxic and it needs to be examined.”

Breakfast co-host Paul Henry said:  The fact is that it is impossible for Peter Ellis  to be guilty as charged. Impossible. As Lynley Hood said anyone with half a brain reviewing the evidence can see that..... The case has never been reviewed in it’s entirety. It just seems extraordinary to me

2008-1216 - TV1: Breakfast - Peter Ellis Inquiry

2008-1216 - Radio Live - Government reconsidering Peter Ellis case

2008-1216 - Radio Live - Peter Ellis supporters denounce central boy’s evidence


Dr Lynley Hood
             Dr Lynley Hood
“ramifications of case go so wide”

Paul Henry
TV1 Breakfast co-host Paul Henry
“impossible for Ellis to be guilty”

16 Dec 2008  Inquiry breakthrough welcomed

Peter Ellis
             Peter Ellis

“I hope Mr Power has moral courage”

Peter Ellis talking of the vested interests of officials in the Ministry of Justice:  "I have high hopes that [Mr Power] will have the moral courage and political will to certainly listen to the advice of the [Justice] ministry, but to remember that if the ministry consists of the same career bureaucrats that have been in charge of [the case] for the last 17 years ... that they have a vested interest to leave it as the status quo."

Peter Ellis also urges Simon Power to look at findings of Professor Harlene Hayne. Professor Harlene Hayne has said there was a strong risk that the evidence of children who told of sexual abuse by Mr Ellis was contaminated by the way the interviews were done.  "There's a wealth of information out there. I'll be most disappointed if Mr Power comes back and says 'well, the advice from the ministry is that there's nothing wrong with it'."

Mr Ellis' lawyer, Judith Ablett Kerr, said it was a golden opportunity for a fresh Government that had previously supported an inquiry to show it meant what it said

Katherine Rich said “The Peter Ellis case is the Arthur Allan Thomas case of our generation and someone has to have the political will and judgment to take another look at it”,

2008-1216 - NZ Herald - Ellis hopes Government will look with fresh eyes

2008-1216 - Otago Daily Times - Dunedin supporters welcome Ellis inquiry breakthrough

15 Dec 2008; Media Release from this site

This site reacts with concern that Minister Simon Power is immediately asking for advice from the same officials who have consistently acted against Peter Ellis, and who cannot provide impartial advice:  “Justice Minister Simon Power is right to approach renewed calls for an inquiry into the Peter Ellis case with an open mind but he is unlikely to receive such impartial advice from his officials.”

Rather than rely on advice from his ministry, Power has the opportunity to avail himself of the mountain of source data and impartial analysis in regard to this case that has been made available on the internet; recent research on the childrens interviews by Harlene Hayne, professor of psychology at Otago University; and by reading Dr Hoods landmark book “A City Possessed.”

2008-1215 - - Ministry not impartial - Ellis case deserves Royal Commission of Inquiry

15 Dec 2008;  Blog commentary on possibility of inquiry.

David Farrar, of kiwiblog reported the news and commented “I am aghast at how Peter Ellis  was found guilty. I have read many many articles and the Hood book on the case, and each time I am staggered at how flawed the process was. Simon Power has a great opportunity to restore faith in the justice system. I hope he takes it up.  In dozens of follow up comments from readers, there is an overwheming concern that Peter Ellis is the victim of an injustice, and an inquiry is required.

2008-1215 - Kiwiblog - Call for Power to launch inquiry into Peter Ellis case

15 Dec 2008; New Minister of Justice looking at request to re-examine the Ellis case

Simon Power

Minister of Justice,
Simon Power

Justice Minister Simon Power has agreed to consider a request for a Commission of Inquiry into the Peter Ellis case.  A spokesman for Mr Power said the minister was approaching the issue with an open mind.  He intended to seek a briefing from officials and then consider the letter. He did not wish to comment further on the possibility of a fresh inquiry until he had more information.

News reports reiterate the fresh doubts about the evidential interviews of children in the case that were cast in research findings by Otago University academic Professor Harlene Hayne.  Hayne has said there was a "strong risk" that the evidence of children who told of sexual abuse by Ellis was contaminated by the way the interviews were carried out. She urged the courts to consider the case again.

Mr Ellis says he welcomes the support to clear his name. "We must remember this isn't just the Peter Ellis case, this is the Civic Creche case and it's now in its 18th year." Mr Ellis says an Australian judge could oversee a hearing. Ellis says he is wary the same ministerial bureaucrats who have considered his case before, will offer the new Minister the same advice, and a new approach will go nowhere. However he says he will remain positive.

2008-1215 - The Press - Government to reconsider Peter Ellis case

2008-1215 - Stuff - Brash, Rich call for fresh inquiry into Ellis verdicts

2008-1215 - Radio NZ - Justice Minister to consider inquiry into Peter Ellis case

2008-1215 - Radio NZ - Brash renews call for Peter Ellis inquiry

2008-1215 - One News - Push to reconsider Ellis case

2008-1215 - One News - New minister revisits Ellis case

2008-1215 - Otago Daily Times - Govt considers Peter Ellis inquiry

2008-1215 - Newstalk ZB - Peter Ellis case to be reconsidered

2008-1215 - Newstalk ZB - Fresh push for Peter Ellis inquiry

2008-1215 - National Business Review- New request for commission of inquiry into Ellis case

2008-1215 - - Govt Considering Request For Peter Ellis Commission Of Inquiry

2008-1215 - Gay NZ - New call for Ellis case to be reopened

2008-1215 - Three News - Govt considering request for Peter Ellis commission of inquiry

Lynley Hood, Don Brash, Katherine Rich

Lynley Hood, Don Brash and Katherine Rich at an earlier Press conference
associated with the Ellis case.

25 Nov 2008; Lynley Hood, Don Brash and Katherine Rich: Request inquiry for case

Lynley Hood (Author of “A City Possessed”, Don Brash (Former National Party leader) and Katherine Rich (former National Party Opposition Front bench MP) write to the new Minister of Justice Simon Power, requesting a Commission of Inquiry into the Peter Ellis case.

The subject of this letter will come as no surprise to you. We have held serious concerns about the Peter Ellis/Christchurch Civic Creche Case for a long time. In our view, the time is long overdue for the Minister responsible for our justice system to demonstrate the political will and moral courage necessary to ensure that a comprehensive and genuinely independent inquiry is held into what is widely regarded as New Zealand’s most egregious miscarriage of justice. We ask you to commission an overseas judge to review the entire case. We believe this is the only realistic option left. In support of this proposal, we offer the following points: • Though fifteen years have passed since the controversial conviction of Peter Ellis, disquiet over the Civic Creche case remains widespread and ongoing. Despite the best efforts of the previous government to bury the problem, the public has refused to let the matter rest.

The letter continues with 12 supporting arguments for a commission of Inquiry.

2008-1215 - Scoop - Media Release, Lynley Hood

21 November 2008; Pardon should be top priority for new National Government

Professor James Allan
Professor of Law,
James Allan

A new Government with the National Party forming a coalition with United Future, ACT and the Maori Party has been formed.  

Professor of Law, James Allan writing in the National Business Review puts a pardon for Peter Ellis at the top of his list of non-economic issues for the new Government

“.......  it is incredible that Ellis was convicted and that the legal system has continued to stand by that decision. I think Ellis is out and out innocent. On the required legal standard it is near on a travesty that he was convicted.”

“Ellis should have his name cleared while he’s still alive”

2008-1121 - National Business Review - What John Key must do first
November 4 2008

If a political party does not care about an injustice suffered by an individual, it has no moral or ethical basis to promote so called social justice initiatives. In fact, it does not really understand the fundamentals of justice.

4 November 2008 - Calls for new Government to re-open case
Richard Worth Chris Finlayson Rodney Hide

Politicians who favour a review of the Ellis case: 
Richard Worth (National); Chris Finlayson (National), Rodney Hide (ACT)

The next Government must give a high priority to re-opening the Peter Ellis case, says Ellis researcher
Ross Francis.  Francis outlines support from prominent National and ACT politicians for a further review, and the concerns of Sir Thomas Thorp that the case “may have gone awry”.

Ross Francis details 13 key issues that an inquiry would be expected to investigate, including:

·                the dubious claims of the prosecution's expert witness and their likely effect;

·                the likely effect of the trial judge's advice

·                the admission by the oldest conviction child that she lied during her evidential interviews and at trial;

·                the effect of legislative changes in 1989 regarding the prosecution of sexual offences against children;

·                the impartiality and conduct of those tasked with investigating and reviewing the case;

·                the expert opinion evidence of Drs Michael Lamb and Barry Parsonson and Professor Maggie Bruck, which remains untested and which raises doubts as to whether any children were sexually abused;

·                recent research by Professor Harlene Hayne showing that the complainants' formal interviews were poor and were not substantially better than those employed in a notorious US case of alleged child sexual abuse;

·                the quality of advice from the Ministry of Justice, which has consistently opposed a wide-ranging inquiry.

Other issues are also included.

2008-1104 - Scoop - Government must re-open Peter Ellis case

23 June 2008 - Christchurch ZB John Dunne interviews Helen Clark and Peter Ellis
John Dunne Helen Clark Peter Ellis
The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, makes some extraordinary statements:
“the jury’s out on that one (the Peter Ellis issue)”
“I’ve never read the Lynley Hood book (“A City Possessed”)
“No. [I would not think it a wise move to read “A City Possessed”] No I wouldn’t. I’m an extremely busy person”

Peter Ellis observed that his case had compelling evidence that should be considered: that the Eichelbaum report has been debunked by Ross Francis in the Law Journal report, and secondly the new study done by Professor Harlene Hayne.

Peter Ellis also referred to the decision in the Privy Council in the David Bain case where there was a decision that the judge should not be interfering with the evidence that goes before a jury. That decision has direct relevance to the Ellis case.

2008-0623 - Christchurch ZB - Transcript of interview with Helen Clark and Peter Ellis. 

11 June 2008 - Peter Ellis questions proposed double jeopardy legislation
The Government has proposed new legislation so that compelling new evidence unavailable at a first trial resulting in a not-guilty verdict may be used for a second trial.  Peter Ellis says any new legislation which allows acquitted people to be retried needs to work fairly for people on both sides of the justice system. He says the same zeal for truth and justice should be applied to cases that police want to retry and those who want a retrial to clear their own name. Or “will it be a case of heads we win and tails you lose?”

A later Southland Times editorial that reviews the legislative changes says that Peter Ellis question, asking whether the legislation applies to tainted convictions as well as tainted acquittals, is a fair question.

2008-0611 - The Press - Two equal sides?   

2008-0611 - Radio NZ - Proposed bill on retrials must be fair for all - Ellis   

2008-0623 - Southland Times - A few legal rethinks  

7 June 2008 - Dilemma for falsely imprisoned : When confession is required for parole
The Parole Board appear to be concerned that convicted people acknowledge their guilt as an important consideration in the granting of parole.

Barrister Gary Gotlieb says there should be no requirement, regarding parole decisions, to acknowledge guilt. There are many cases where people later confess, but there are instances, too, where a prisoner's denial is genuine. He referred to the cases of David Dougherty and Rex Haig. And noted that Peter Ellis did not want parole if it involved confessing to what he maintains he did not do.

In the case of Bob Schollum, parole was refused because he was considered an undue risk not only because of his denial of guilt, but for other reasons such as his lack of remorse and his lack of empathy for the victim.  But a lack of remorse and lack of empathy for the victim are both consistent with a denial of guilt.

2008-0607 - NZ Herald - Parole: when confessions don't count 

3 June 2008 - “Absurdity of Ellis trial highlights path to PC Madness”
John de Bueger, in an opinion article in the Taranaki Daily News writes: “The overwhelming national opinion on Peter Ellis now is that a grave miscarriage of justice occurred. The longer this running sore remains undressed, the more plausible is the suspicion that the highest levels of Labour's Rainbow wing are involved. (This disgrace needs sorting once John Key gains the keys to the Beehive.)”

2008-0603 - Taranaki Daily News - Absurdity of Ellis, Kahui trials highlights path towards PC madness  

24 April 2008 - National Business Review discusses appointment of Val Sim
Val Sim“The government has appointed its Criminal Justice Advisory Board. The board has been set up to help restore public confidence in the criminal justice system. "The appointees are all highly respected people who reflect the diversity of the community," said the press release from Justice Minister Annette King, "and who will bring a range of skills and perspectives to the board.”

One notable member is Val Sim ..... “She is experienced in criminal law matters, having previously been a chief legal counsel for the Ministry of Justice. In this role, she helped build public confidence in the criminal justice system by standing firm in her opinion (to the minister of justice) that the widely mistrusted conviction of Peter Ellis on child molestation charges should not be reviewed by an inquiry, nor a pardon granted”

2008-0424 - National Business Review - A committee possessed 

8 April 2008 - Evidence of false evidence by key prosecution witness Dr Karen Zelas
Ross Francis details on Poneke Weblog how Dr Karen Zelas had advised prosecutor Brent Stanaway that a child witness “has various mental health problems which have worsened since the first evidential interview”. During cross examination at trial however she was asked as to whether she formed a view that Tommy was possibly suffering from mental illness during his evidential interviews.  “No, I did not”, she replied.

In a further comment by Brian, it is revealed that a formal allegation of perjury has been made against Karen Zelas, but the police will not consider the complaint. The reasons for not considering the complaint are provided and critiqued by Brian, who suggests that “it is time that the police came out of “justification” mode, justifying and trying to protect themselves from their previous shoddy involvement in this case “

2008-0408 - Poneke Weblog - Ablett Kerr gives detailed reasons why a royal commission is needed

8 April 2008 - Detailed reasons why Royal Commission Required
Poneke Weblog publishes the detailed reasons that Judith Ablett Kerr QC provided to the Government, that explain why a royal commission is needed in the Ellis case.  Judith Ablett Kerr says the jury members were never in a position to make any real assessment of the reliability and credibility of the children because:

·                Crucial interview tapes that would have assisted any assessment of reliability were not played to them;

·                The defence were restricted in their ability to both lead evidence and cross-examine in a way that would have assisted any assessment of reliability;

·                Evidence outside the scope of [the Evidence Act] was given by the prosecution expert [Karen Zelas];

·                The evidence given by the defence expert [Keith Le Page] was unfairly ridiculed;

·                The prosecution expert failed to support her evidence by reference, in the standard way, to literature and statistical information and consequently the jury were deprived of hearing what relevant mainstream research into the reliability of the evidence of children said. This research, of course, supported the defence contention that the children’s evidence had been contaminated and could not be relied upon;

·                The jury were denied the opportunity to compare the evidence in the case with the known dangers of contamination associated with the style of questioning by both parents and professionals;

·                The jury never heard of the concerns that the prosecution expert had held pre-trial as to the contamination of a particular child;

·                The jury was unaware that the lead complainant would later admit that she had lied about Ellis indecently touching her;

·                The jury could not have understood how great was the inequality of arms between the prosecution and defence and the effect that such inequality had on the proceedings.

Poneke describes further why the case is a travesty of justice, and how the Justice officials are still fighting to prevent justice from being done.

2008-0408 - Poneke Weblog - Ablett Kerr gives detailed reasons why a royal commission is needed

2-7 April 2008 - Letters:  Peter Ellis “let down again”; Inquiry needed
Rod Maxwell, a letter writer to The Press, writes with his concerns that Peter Ellis has been let down again by the justice system. The Associate Justice Minister, Rick Barker has shown “that he is unprepared to take the hard decisions demanded of his position

E Williams, in another letter says that an inquiry into the Civic Creche case is important, and that for the sake of all those involved, including the children, the issue should be cleared up

Phil Sinclair, a letter writer to the NZ Herald refers to promises made by Labour MPs before winning election to government, and their subsequent inaction, suggested to be due to a “small and overly influential bloc of interest parties who had good connections to other Labour MPs”

2008-0407 - The Press - Peter Ellis let down again by poor justice system

2008-0405 - The Press - Too hard basket?    

2008-0402 - NZ Herald - Ellis case

28-31 March  Kiwiblog discussion on Government rejection of Inquiry
David Farrar says the Government decision is a great shame. “It is important to have a proper inquiry, so we can learn from our mistakes”.  He also notes that a potential National Government no longer has advocates Don Brash and Katherine Rich, and we therefore “may never get a satisfactory resolution”

Rex Widerstrom says that the issue is an important election issue: “if a would-be politician isn’t interested in something as fundamental as the integrity of our “justice” system, and the wrongful imprisonment of the innocent, what business do they have standing?

F.E Smith writes a thoughtful essay. Some quotations:: “we have a general societal attitude today that puts ‘getting tough on crime’ ahead of the rights of the the individual”  “If we believed in due process, then an inquiry would be a given simply because there is so much concern about Peter Ellis’ convictions” “While screwing the justice system is a vote winner, people like Peter Ellis will continue to suffer.”  He also makes reference to the “outrageousness of appointing Val Sim a law commissioner in light of her total misfeasance the first Ellis inquiry

Tim Barclay is “more in favour of a Royal Commission in the criminal justice system” than he is on the particular problems of one person

Yvette lists “baggage at stake” that may be unerlying reasons for not having an inquiry: financial considerations; discredited methods of interviewing children; police conduct; feminist agenda; media hysteria.

Mark says “It’s time for a commission of inquiry to be held. The sooner the better.”

Other comments include 

“An obvious travesty of justice in NZ”

“Why is the government so afraid of a search for the truth?

“Peter Ellis’ only “crime” was being a poof in a child-care centre during a disturbing time of child abuse and witchcraft hysteria”

“The Peter Ellis case was NZs version of the Witches of Salem”

2008-0328 - kiwiblog - Peter Ellis

28 March 2008 - Money the obstacle to justice?
Judith Ablett-KerrJudith Ablett Kerr said that she would “now proceed with the petition to the Privy Council. It would include evidence from Professor Harlene Hayne, who had concluded the children's evidence carried a strong risk of being contaminated by the way the interviews were carried out.

She concluded however with a possible significant concern: "At the end of the day, we have to find enough money to get that petition over there,"

2008-0328 - The Press - Royal inquiry into Ellis case rejected

28 March 2008 - National Party no longer has view on holding an Ellis Inquiry
The Leader of the National Party, John Key can't say if his party still holds the same view pledged at the last election that National would institute an Inquiry. He says he would have to take it up with his caucus

2008-0328 - One News - No Royal Commission for Ellis


    Don Brash Katherine Rich

                           John Key

Don Brash and Katherine Rich. National Party MPs who petitioned for an Inquiry into the Ellis case

Both will no longer be in Parliament after next election

John Key, new National Party Leader

Waiting to see which way the wind will
blow before making a decision?

28 March 2008 - Peter Ellis “appalled” by Government decision
Peter Ellis described the government decision as “appalling”, but “not surprising”. “He [Rick Barker] is given new stuff to look at ... and he was asked new questions and his letter is actually just the same stuff all rehashed together. He's just trotted out the Justice Ministry's mantra. I believe he's just handed the bid for an inquiry off to a minion."  Ellis said It would have taken somebody with more political heft than Barker to tell former justice minister Phil Goff and former chief justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum "they got it wrong"

Judith Ablett Kerr is further reported saying she was disappointed the inquiry bid had been "brushed aside in such a superficial way”  She believed articles in the New Zealand Law Journal and an Otago University study cast both the convictions and a ministerial inquiry into doubt

2008-0328 - NZ Herald - Govt 'no' to inquiry plea appals Ellis

2008-0328 - One News - No Royal Commission for Ellis

2008-0328 - The Press - Royal inquiry into Ellis case rejected

2008-0328 - Newstalk ZB - Ellis believes inquiry decision inevitable

2008-0328 - Radio NZ - Ellis loses bid for Royal Commission

27 March 2008 - Reaction to Government rejection of Royal Commission
The rejection of the new call for a full royal commission of inquiry was described as "cavalier" by Dunedin author Dr Lynley Hood. She said that Mr Barker's decision was frustrating. “It's particularly disappointing in the cavalier way he has dismissed the compelling new evidence that's come forward that prompted the recent call," "It shows the Ministry of Justice is incapable of rationally and objectively evaluating new evidence."

Ellis lawyer, Judith Ablett-Kerr says “frustrating” would be "a very genteel way" to describe how she feels.

Keri Hulme

Keri Hulme


Author Keri Hulme, writing in comments of Poneke Weblog says “Politicians....have neither the guts nor the intelligence nor the willpower to urge judicial investigation”

2008-0327 - Stuff - Rejection of inquiry call 'cavalier' - Hood

2008-0327 - NZ Herald - Rejection of inquiry into Peter Ellis creche case 'cavalier'

2008-0327 - Newstalk ZB - Lawyer beyond frustrated in Peter Ellis case

2008-0326 - Poneke Weblog - Peter Ellis told “go to the Privy Council”

27 March 2008 - Mainstream media pick news from Poneke Weblog
News reports follow up on the Poneke Weblog, confirming that the Government has rejected recent calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Ross Francis is quoted saying “the flaws in Ellis' trial, the failure of the appeals court to address expert opinion evidence, and Prof Hayne's recent findings raised serious doubts about the safety of Ellis' convictions. I believe an inquiry of some description needs to be set up in order to lay the case to rest."

2008-0327 - NZ Herald - Ellis Royal Commission rejected

2008-0327 - Newstalk ZB - No Royal Commission on Inquiry into Ellis case 

2008-0327 - One News - No Royal Commission for Ellis

26 March 2008 - Poneke Weblog announces Government rejection of Royal Commission
Rick Barker

Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker
Rejected calls for Royal Commission of Inquiry into Ellis case

Poneke’s Weblog uses documents published on this site to break the news that Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker has rejected a call for a full royal commission of inquiry into the Peter Ellis Christchurch Civic Creche case. He refers to correspondence between Ross Francis and the Minister of Justice. Refer to 2008 Documents

The weblog observes that the letter from the Associate Justice Minister “is straight from the same Justice Ministry folk who have fought successfully for 15 years now to ensure the Civic case is not reopened, despite almost everyone, including them, knowing it is a complete crock and the biggest miscarriage of justice since Thomas.”

Readers comments express amazement that the Government has completely ignored recent research by Professor Harlene Hayne which demonstrated that the evidence provided by the child complainants in the Ellis case is unsafe, and research by Ross Francis providing evidence destroying the credibility of the Eichelbaum Inquiry.

2008-0326 - Poneke Weblog - Peter Ellis told “go to the Privy Council”

19 March 2008 - Researcher Ross Francis replies to Minister Rick Barker
Ross Francis replies to a letter he has received from Rick Barker, drawing attention to errors in Rick Barker’s letter, and explaining why there ought to be a commission of inquiry.

1.       Fallacy that the Ellis case has received extensive scrutiny
Examples include reviews by Barry Parsonson and Michael Lamb having never been tested. Their reviews and the Thorp report were not included in the Eichelbaum Inquiry terms of reference.

2.       Fallacy that the Eichelbaum “experts” expressed the same overall conclusions
Ross Francis provides specific examples showing that they did not reach the same overall conclusions

3        Fallacy that Eichelbaum placed significant weight on opinion of Professor DaviesVal Sim
Ross Francis provides examples of serious concerns about the accuracy of childrens’ claims that were ignored by Eichelbaum

4        Fallacy that Eichelbaum made independent inquiries in his selection of experts
Ross Francis points to his research findings, published in the NZ Law Journal which provide evidence that Eichelbaum did nothing more than accept advice from Justice Department bureaucrat Val Sim. He may or may not have been aware that Val Sim had a history of opposing the setting up of an inquiry. Val Sim was instrumental in advising that Louise Sas was a person of “high standing” which would have been quickly established as false if Eichelbaum had made inquiries independent of Sim’s advice.

Justice Department Bureaucrat Val Sim
Treated Eichelbaum as a puppet on a string

5.       Assertion that Ms Ablett Kerr is seeking to appeal to Privy Council
The assertion wrongly implies that Ms Ablett Kerr does not consider a commission of inquiry a better option. Rick Barker’s response also ignores the difficulties being faced by Ablett-Kerr in obtaining the necessary funding for a Privy Council appeal

6        Ross Francis outlines highly questionable aspects of Ellis’ trial
Uncorroborated testimony of young children;  Prejudicial and selective testimony of important prosecution witness Dr Karen Zelas;  Evidence of Dr Keith Le Page being ruled inadmissable;  Jurors were not advised that "multiple allegation creche cases" had special characteristics which called for special care and examination.

7.       Recent research findings provide evidence that the conviction is unsafe
Reference is made to the research findings of Professor Harlene Hayne which show the tesimony of the children was tainted by suggestive questioning;  The research findings of Ross Francis that caused Sir Thomas Thorp to express concern that “the case may have gone awry”

Ross Francis says:  The flaws in Ellis’ trial, the failure of the appeals court to address the expert opinion evidence, and the recent findings of Prof. Hayne raise serious doubts about the safety of Peter Ellis’ convictions

2008-0319 - Letter by Ross Francis to Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker

30 Jan 2008 - Blog authors endorse need for Royal Commission
Poneke’s Weblog says that, at last, there is movement in the Peter Ellis case, that is described as the worst David Farrarmiscarriage of justice in New Zealand since Arthur Alan Thomas. Poneke reports that Ablett Kerr has approached the Minister of Justice, and that a government decision is expected.

2008-0130 - Poneke’s Weblog - Movement at last in the Peter Ellis case

David Farrar (KiwiBlog)

David Farrar in Kiwiblogtotally endorses the call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Ellis case.  One needs the latitude a full commission of inquiry has, to deal with the public’s deep scepticism over this case.” Farrar continues “It should be in the interest of all politicians for there to be confidence in the justice system.  The Ellis case corrosively undermines that confidence.  While convictions are not a public popularity contest, I know of almost no-one who thinks the Ellis convictions are safe.  And this is based on a massive amount of published research on the case”

2008-0130 - Kiwiblog - Do the right thing on Ellis case

30 Jan 2008 - Media reports reaction to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry
Three News reports Dr Lynley Hood as saying that “there should have been an inquiry long ago”

2008-0130 - NZ Herald - Peter Ellis' lawyers seeking royal commission hearing

2008-0130 - The Press - Govt mulls royal inquiry for Ellis

2008-0130 - Three News - Supporter: Peter Ellis inquiry long overdue

29 Jan 2008 - Judith Ablett Kerr interviewed on Radio NZ Checkpoint
Judith Ablett Kerr is interviewed by Mary Wilson.
2008-0129 - Radio NZ - Possible Royal Commission of Inquiry into Peter Ellis's Case  (TRANSCRIPT)

29 Jan 2008 - Arthur Thomas campaigner says justice system is in the dock again
Pat Booth writes in Stuff reflecting on cases such as the David Dougherty, David Bain, David Tamihere, Scott Watson and Peter Ellis. He questions “Why no action on the Thorp proposal for independent authority to check for miscarriages of justice? Or will we just go on depending on concerned citizen crusaders to exhaust themselves and their bank accounts fighting for jailed innocents?”

2008-0129 - Stuff - Trial system in the dock

29 Jan 2008 - United Future Leader Peter Dunne backs need for inquiry.
Peter Dunne
2008-0129 - Newstalk ZB - Dunne backs Peter Ellis inquiry

2008-0129 - United Future - Ellis deserves Royal Commission of Inquiry - Dunne

29 Jan 2008 - Judith Ablett Kerr seeks Royal Commission
Judith Ablett Kerr has written to the Justice Minister Annette King to discuss the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Ablett Kerr is justifying her request on
a.  The research findings of Professor Harlene Hayne, who found there was a “strong risk” that the evidence of the children was contaminated by the way the interviews were carried out. The Ellis case interviews were worse than in an American case which found there that the interviews were “highly improper” and the interviewers used “coercive and unduly suggestive methods”

Mrs Ablett Kerr is also still working on a petition to take the case to the Privy Council

2008-0129 - Three News - Peter Ellis' lawyers seek royal commission of inquiry

Peter Ellis2008-0129 - The Press - Peter Ellis' lawyers seek another inquiry

2008-0129 - Radio NZ - Ablett Kerr: Research highlights flaws in interviews

2008-0129 - NZ Herald - Peter Ellis' lawyers seek Royal Commission

2008-0129 - Newstalk ZB - Ellis' lawyers want Royal Commission of Inquiry

2008-0129 - Nelson Mail - Ellis's lawyers seek royal commission

23 Jan 2008 - Ellis case researcher submission to Law Commission
Ross Francis calls Eichelbaum inquiry a good example of how not to conduct an inquiry
2008-0123 - Ross Francis - Submission to Law Commission

2008-0127 - Poneke’s Weblog - Ellis case researcher backs Law Commission call

2008-0112 - Strange Justice Blogspot - Corrupt NZ again

2008-0112 - Poneke's Weblog - More judicial Peter Ellis concerns

Sir Thomas Thorp

Sir Thomas Thorp
New evidence adds to concerns Ellis case "may have gone awry"

2008-0112 - NZ Herald - In search of truth

2008-0112 - NZ Herald - Psychologist: Ellis case questions were suspect

2008-0112 - NZ Herald - Call for inquiry into justice system ignored: ex-judge