Sunday Star Times
July 20, 2003
Issue is pro-justice
Letter to the Editor
by Bill Wright
sad that that Debbie Kean is sad about the new Ellis initiative (July 13) but
I think she misses the point. The issue is not so much about Peter Ellis as
about judicial procedures that are flawed. The initiative is not
anti-feminist or anti-religious but rather pro-justice.
The trial, several appeals and inquiries to which Kean refers were narrowly
focused and circumscribed by rigid procedures that, under the rules of
evidence relating to experts, inexorably tilted the case in favour of the
In the absence of "expert" evidence admitted under section 23G of
the Evidence Act, there would have been no case. In his report, Sir Thomas
Thorp noted difficulties with section 23G and recommended repeal.
About Kean's parting shot at Lynley Hood; an author publishing on such a
controversial subject can hardly avoid publicity. But Hood can take heart
from the fact that her seminal work is supported by two former prime
ministers (both lawyers), numerous MPs, no less than eight Queen's Counsel, a
list of lawyers and others.
Hood's scholarly, impartial and objective analysis has not been gainsaid and
set against such weighty support is surely deserving of prompt consideration.
Phil Goff, we're waiting.