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October 17 2006

New Zealand Justice on Trial
Media Release

The Australian courts have permitted extradition of two clergymen to New Zealand to face sex charges. hopes that our justice system will heed Australian Justice Madgwick, who raised serious concerns that the men may not receive a fair trial in New Zealand, spokesperson Richard Christie says.

In particular

                Will the two men receive separate trials from each other in New Zealand? Joint trials would likely be regarded as unjust in Australia and not occur.

                Will the jury be given a strong warning by the judge as tothe very real problems in meeting such old allegations? In Australia the accused would have such a guarantee.

                Will the two men face "representative charges"? Such charges are not permitted in Australia, where Justice Madgwick quite rightly pointed out: "How can a man defend himself if he doesn't know when the alleged offence is supposed to have happened?"

                Will the jury be warned of the dangers associated with mass allegation cases, including concoction or unconscious contamination of complainant testimony? Many of the complainants were interviewed repeatedly by the same psychiatrist and attended victims' group sessions.

                Will the jury be warned that the reliability of the complainants evidence is hopelessly compromised by the tens of thousands of dollars offered to anybody willing to claim that they were victims of abuse? hopes that the New Zealand Law Commission does not react to the extradition decision by dismissing the concerns raised by Justice Madgwick about the New Zealand justice system. The Commission could take the advice of Judith Ablett-Kerr QC and seize the opportunity to examine the way Australia deals with the issues, to see if we can improve our own system.; "Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, both past and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic"