Collins defends stance as Bain issues legal challenge
Justice Minister Judith Collins is defending the government’s stance in the face of a High Court challenge from David Bain.
Alleging bad faith, abuse of power and bias, Mr Bain today filed a High Court claim against Ms Collins seeking a judicial review of her actions over retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie's report on the Bain trials.
Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis predicted to NBR ONLINE last week a judicial review was a possibility – an area he said was messy territory.
A review by former High Court judge Robert Fisher found Mr Binnie over-stepped his brief.
Ms Collins is today sticking to her guns, saying the Binnie report was “unsafe” and “flawed” and the government should not base any claim for compensation for Mr Bain on the basis of such a report.
“That would not have resulted in justice for anyone, let alone Mr Bain.”
Mr Bain was convicted of murdering five members of his Dunedin family in 1995 but that conviction was overturned after the Privy Council ordered a retrial in 2009.
“Mr Bain’s application falls outside cabinet guidelines and is entirely at cabinet’s discretion. I have taken steps to ensure the process is fair and proper throughout,” Ms Collins says.
Mr Bain has asked the government to put his application for compensation on hold and this will cause further delays, she says.
“I am considering his request. As this matter is now before the courts I will not be commenting further.”