Wednesday, 1 September 2010

supreme court judge hearing


Hearings began today into a Supreme Court judge who sat on a case involving his own interests.

Rather than seek to clear his name, Justice Bill Wilson is legally challenging a decision to review his performance.

Virtually unreported is the fact that the case revolves around ownership of racing horses - in which the Chief Justice also holds shares.

The Supreme Court was set up in New Zealand in 2004, cutting off access to the Privy Council in the UK, despite widespread concerns about the integrity of the New Zealand justice system.


The future career and reputation of Supreme Court Judge Bill Wilson is at stake at a hearing which began in the High Court at Wellington today.

In the ground-breaking case, Justice Wilson is fighting to overturn a move by the Judicial Conduct Commissioner Sir David Gascoigne to have his behaviour examined by a panel.

An application is being heard by Justices John Wild, Forrest Miller and Graham Lang to set aside the commissioner's recommendations.

Justice Wilson, who is not in court, is being represented by Colin Carruthers, QC, who is arguing that the alleged misconduct has not been specified or shown to warrant the judge being removed from the bench.

The commissioner's unprecedented move came after he received complaints that Justice Wilson had not fully disclosed his personal and business relationship with Alan Galbraith, QC, while sitting on a Court of Appeal case in 2007.

Mr Galbraith, who was acting for a party in those proceedings, and Judge Wilson were partners in a horse breeding business.

The hearing is set down for three days."


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