Thursday, 6 May 2010

Judges

This is just a quick post about Justice Priestley following the High Court appeal in Mckinnon v New Zealand Police HC Rot Cri-2010-463-000001 30 April 2010. The decision is unremarkable except for the way in which with some care and compassion, Justice Priestley dismissed the appeal. It would be easy to write a mechanical decision simply dismissing the appeal on the merits. However he clearly approached this matter giving some recognition and respect to the boys father, who helped his son on the appeal, and with a sympathetic and understanding analysis of what happened. We are quick to criticise judges who we consider have not dealt with matters as we want. We seldom recognise those who illustrate the best qualities of humanity but with legally consistent and fair results. In this judgement Justice Priestley should be commended.

I have added to this a  decision of the Court of appeal decision in  Garnett v R CA CA187/2009 7 May 2010 where he was part of the panel. His humane approach was fortunate indeed for Ms Garnett, who was spared jail to instead substitute home detention.

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