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May 14 2007

Criminal Cases Review Commission
Media Release

A "Criminal Cases Review Commission" must be put in place as soon as possible to rectify miscarriages of justice, spokesperson Brian Robinson says. 

Such a commission, recommended by Justice Thorp over a year ago has the backing of Parliament's justice select committee, and was enthusiastically received by a Law Conference over a year ago.

The Bain case provides yet another example of why such a commission should be formed.  And yet  a spokesman for Justice Minister Mark Burton said on Friday that it was not even being considered. Mark Burton has previously made the surprising excuse that New Zealand is "too small" to allow such a safeguard.

New Zealand's current appeal system has been finely tuned to assure trial procedures follow the rules of law. We urgently need an independent authority that can consider the more fundamental question of guilt and innocence.  If we really are "too small" to have our own commission, as Mark Burton has suggested, New Zealand should seek to participate in the British, or similar commissions elsewhere

"Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, both past

and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic"