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Losing the Rule of Law: How New Zealand Beat the UK - by Kim Leighton



The UK's press has published a report from the President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Stephanie Boyce, saying that the rule of law is being lost.


If you have a subscription to the Financial Times you can read it here https://www.ft.com/content/077f719b-91b9-4775-ab37-b120ced4c9a1


Ms Boyce describes the concern of the English and Welsh legal profession that respect for the rule of law is declining. She says: "The concept of the rule of law means that laws are made democratically, everyone is protected by and accountable to the same laws — including government — with independent courts there to uphold these in a way that is accessible, fair and efficient. That arrangement is undermined if a government takes the view that laws, international or domestic, can be broken."


She refers to how "the UK has treated international agreements it entered into freely with a disregard that brings Britain’s reliability as a partner into question." She sees the integrity of the legal profession and the legal process the bulwark against a country committing economic and moral suicide. "Solicitors and barristers have a statutory duty... to behave with independence and integrity. They represent their clients and help apply the laws dictated by parliament."


What a pity for New Zealand that its own Law Society didn't stand up for the rule of law.


Instead, its Presidents decided to follow "advice" that the laws dictated by parliament could be overridden by officials and lawyers if they just said they could. Lawyers paid by corrupt public officials (which means, paid by the taxpayer ...) asked MBIE officials in the Employment Relations Authority for "determinations" covering up theft, fraud, sexual harassment and rape. The Authority officials made orders that theft, fraud and money laundering could not be investigated. Employment Court judges such as Colgan and Inglis backed that up. It was bonanza time for the lawyers who could bring cases to get orders against anyone who threatened to expose their game - and get paid by the taxpayer for doing it.


It got much worse when government Ministers, especially Grant Robertson and Andrew Little, put the same "advice" to their colleagues. They persuaded Parliament that MBIE "determinations" should be enforceable regardless of what they said. Parliament agreed to shoot itself in the foot by handing MBIE that power in the Contempt of Court Act 2019.


Funnily enough, the drafter of that Act was a certain Tony Smith, the one that went to the UK to do a PhD - and discovered he couldn't hack academic work but he was very good at making mischief and organising coverups.


New Zealand used to have a legal system that was respected all over the world.


MBIE's dodgy deals were supported by MFAT, who disregarded New Zealand's international obligations about money laundering. Those obligations included telling the international money laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force, how New Zealand's legal system ensured it could not be used for money laundering. MFAT breached that obligation, with the support of Minister Andrew Little and Stuart Nash. They congratulated themselves publicly on how well New Zealand implemented its obligations. They must have been sniggering up their sleeves about the MBIE workaround.


The Attorney-General appointed more and more of those corrupt coverup lawyers to be judges. The last thing any of them want is the rule of law, because that would mean they had to account for their frauds. They could try to get the government and the taxpayer to pay for them (as usual), but they've taken so much it would probably bankrupt the government.


So far as the personal damage goes - the threats, the attacks, the rapes. - the government is bankrupt already. Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern are relying on Transparency International to make their policies as opaque as possible. It won't last.


Stephanie Boyce, president of the England and Wales Law Society, said

"The rule of law ... provides security and predictability for citizens, business and international partners. ... Putting the UK’s reputation as a trustworthy and predictable trade partner in doubt could have a long-term effect on this country’s standing and on our ability to strike deals with other countries."


What a pity for New Zealand that it got such a big head start on that.

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