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Outraged Finlayson says judge-critic Tony Molloy should quit QC rank

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson came out swinging this afternoon against senior lawyer Tony Molloy, calling on him to surrender his QC's warrant for attacking the judiciary.

Mr Finlayson, himself a lawyer, says Dr Molloy's criticism on New Zealand's justice system on NBR ONLINE is nothing more than "a vulgar, crude and intemperate attack on our judicial system".

A clearly outraged Mr Finlayson told NBR a debate can be properly had over matters such as specialisation and the responsiveness of the judicial system without descending to abuse.

Mr Finlayson says he is on record as supporting some form of judicial specialisation.

But he says Dr Molloy’s comments "are the sort of rubbish one would expect of a vexatious lay litigant".

"For one of our country’s most senior Queen’s Counsel to be making this kind of attack is deplorable," he says.

The best advice he could offer Dr Molloy is that "he should consider surrendering his warrant as a Queen’s Counsel".


More by Jock Anderson

Comments and questions

And if the Attorney General is so soft snd gentrified he can't handle reasoned, but passionate debate, he should step down. Good on Dr Molloy, whatever he said, just on the principle of it.

Chris Finlayson sounds like a jumped up, arrogant little twerp. Maybe it's time for him to step down.

Intellectual arrogance can come in many label someone being akin to a vexatious lay litigant may fall into that category........we may choose to be outraged when faced by opinions that we disagree with.
I am a little disturbed by what feels like an attempt to stifle debate on what i suspect, as a 'lay person,' is a subject that could well receive some reasoned debate, which may include some criticism by those within the system.
Bring it on.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson is obviously a man with a very fragile ego that cant cope with any form of constructive debate that opposes his beliefs. Is it just me or does it look like an SS uniform would fit him like a glove.

"Reductio ad Hitlerum" - the person guilty of invoking Godwin's Law has effectively forfeited the debate.

Was Finlayson responsible for the Dotcom fiasco?

If so he's in no position to ask someone else to resign.

let me start by saying all Lawyers are leeches.

But the first honest lawyer to stand up a speak his mind gets that result makes we think the whole industry is full of pious asses.

Lawyers have not contributed anything constructive to society since time began... article 40 of the magna carter states "To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice"

but justice is denied to the common man by obfuscation of language and logic; Delayed by lawyers and the processes they have created to maximise the fees; Sold at extraordinary rates via these leeches.

Time for an overhaul i think

I have had considerable Exp the Courts, the core points made by the Learned QC are valid indeed
The public an entitled to expect the Judge hearing a case is competent
and fundamentally grasps the complexities, often that is not the case.

With major Prejudice being inflicted as a result . Do not shoot the messenger when he is only confronting the blatant Truth, Mr Finlayson should focus his energy on implementing a system to see Judges specialize and remain within their field of Competence and comprehension .This could only increase the quality of Judgements and Justice, action is need to secure Public confidence in the NZ Judiciary

One of the many design faults we have with the current system, is that we have the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff instead of erecting a safety barrier at the top. We need panels of suitably equipped Judges (assisted by suitably equipped lay persons where appropriate), to preside (in the first instance) over high-stake cases in both civil, and criminal law. By having such cases heard by a panel, the risk of a flawed ruling are reduced proportionally, with huge benefits for both the Courts and the citizenry. In other words, for high stake cases (and where there might be thousands of pages of documents submitted in evidence) we have the learned minds of say, three individuals presiding (as you would at a hearing of the Appeal Court). We currently have the ludicrous and unsatisfactory situation that were a solitary Judge errs, the case enters the system and the damage to the defendant becomes a fait accompli from that moment on, with lawyers clipping their tickets on the way through. A reversal by the Court of Appeal at a later date will not undo or, make good that damage. In commercial cases, it might be years before matters go to a substantive trial (if ever), and in criminal cases, the innocent may languish in prison for years.

The reverse is also true. It is unconscionable that in high stake cases, to put the decision making process on the shoulders of one Judge, alone It is inhuman, unfair and totally inappropriate. Dotcom is a recent case in point and so are one-man-COI’s, such as those presided over by the great Justice Mahon (Erabus), and Justice Davison (Winebox), both of whom were subsequently vilified for their rulings, and both of whom died sad and gutted men.

It can’t be an easy job been a Judge, and they have the same failings and prejudices as anyone else. To err is human.

Whoops. Omit. Last sentence in first paragraph (in above post), should read:

"A reversal by the Court of Appeal at a later date will not undo or, make good that damage. In commercial cases (eg .injunctive proceedings) , it might be years before matters go to a substantive trial (if ever), and in criminal cases, the innocent may languish in prison for years"

Look at the Sir Doug Graham case...

The day Finlaysons advice is worth tuppence evidenced by his bias on matters maori, the deceit over navy land in Devonport and the list could go on; I'll be a monkeys uncle.

Dr Molloy’s comments "are the sort of rubbish one would expect of a vexatious lay litigant".

This comment comes from an unelected member of parliament, an arrogant little twerp who clearly suffers from short-man syndrome. This faux outrage is from the same guy selling our soul to the Maoris that will see his ilk living high off the hog of NZ taxpayers for generations to come. Dr. Molloy well done. The justice system in NZ is a shambles .

It's easy to be a hero and loved by all when all you do is throw lolly scambles to the masses.

Stop giving away our country Findlayson.

That idiot Chris is giving our herititage to the maoris

You sir are a disgrace.

What an ugly and hateful comment about Maoris. At least they have not been responsible for the genocide of 500million indigenous peoples worldwide in the last 200yrs. I would much rather be dirty and indigenous, than a hateful redneck murderer!

What is herititage? And why aren't clean Maori getting any? What's your heritage apart from hangovers? I can only assume you weren't breastfed for long enough. Get a haircut and a job.

nothing wrong with that you stole from the maoris in the first place, i really dont mind if it takes you for eva to pay them back. the white man only makes laws to keep what he stole.

It is Finlayson's job (in part) to defend the judiciary, but he has misjudged this one. Using the word fraudulent might have been a bit over the top, but it was clearly just hyperbole.

Good on you Tony Malloy.

There is nothing that Malloy has been reported saying that the average Kiwi wouldn't totally agree with.

If New Zealand's judiciary is so fantastic then why do we need the world's first Register of Pecuniary Interest of Judges law.

If only our judges were also elected into office by the community.

Id believe Tony Molloys opinion before that of a failed Lawyer/Politician, standing behind parliamentary privilege.

Look at Molloys record. This man stands for integrity, which is sadly lacking with many professionals today. Politicians wouldnt know the meaning of this; and are merely puppets to behind the scene criminals.

Me thinks Mr Finlayson doth protest too much.

If he checks recent history, he will see that amongst the esteemed ranks of the judiciary, it lists convicted perjurers, fraudsters, thieves and the occasional voyeur of lunchtime pornography. Lord only knows what goes on that us plebs don’t know about!.

How true. Just like a shiny waxed apple, that you see at the supermarket. Looks great. But take one bite......

Would we comment so boldly if we were all to put our full names on our comments I wonder?

People don't put their names out there because they're scared of personalised attacks from people like Finlayson. Gee, I wonder why?

Finlayson's unseemly and hysterical remarks towards Dr. Molloy, with: "the sort of rubbish one would expect of a vexatious lay litigant", shows he is unfit for the position he holds. And it is he who that should "surrender" his warrant of Attorney-General.

The truth is, the public's confidence in many our judges is at an all-time low. We are talking about a storied layer of the judiciary, so immersed in a stultifying conceit that it has revealed itself to be impervious to public misgivings; such is its sense of immutability.

"Judicial Incompetence" is never called to account, because positions are so deeply entrenched by inviolable tradition, to afford protection from any meaningful scrutiny and reproach. Never mind, that poor-performing judges cannot be dislodged.

Finlayson should be tasked with reforming an archaic judiciary by recognising its intrinsic flaws and failings; to allow for greater public input and accountability. Rather, than incarnating himself as some kind of Hanging Judge, to silence any critic of a justice system that has become so steeped in an outmoded tradition of reverential 'self-regard', that it is in real danger of asphyxiating itself.

Fact is, Malloy has made a good point. At the end of the day the judiciary is an organisation and organisations tend to take their lead from the top. It is perilous for that organisation that Finlayson seems incapable of engaging in self analysis and contructive debate. It is the very thing that Malloy is concerned about.

22 of these comments are very quick to bash Mr Findlayson.

However I actually think he has a point.

Lawyers do not become QC's because they do not like the system. Indeed its a bit like joining a golf club and hating the rules. There is always a few rules, procedures we do not like but tweeks can be made - it is normally better to offer improved rules rather than throw stones.

I think Mr Findlayson is quite correct. I also think he is most probably the most intellegent, considered and dignified Member of Parliament we have.

The point is that the system can be improved: Molloy pointed that out.
Finlayson is apparently outraged that anyone should have suggested improvements.

Finlayson (not Findlayson) shows by his hysterical outburst that he is anything but " the most intellegent (sic) , considered and dignified Member of Parliament we have."

However I am sure that Chris will , in an appropriate fashion, show his appreciation of your sycophantic comment, however ill-informed that comment may be.

I came to understand some time ago that the state in NZ flouts the rule of law, thus we can't be said to have the rule of law anymore. I now wonder if this is because the top brass, from the Attorney General down, treat judiciary membership like one at the golf club. There should be nothing similar between those two.

And I'm trying to think of a word for your sentence, quote:"lawyers do not become QC's because they do not like the system."

Oh yes: fatuous, quite apart from the legal-speak double negative.

For all our sakes, critical institutions such as this must have principled dissenters within them. That is healthy, because if you turn the rule of law into a cosy, gentrified, golf club membership, then you can be sure whatever else it gives us, justice won't be amongst it.

The writer of this comment epitomises the problem: "Indeed its a bit like joining a golf club and hating the rules". The justice system is not a golf club that exists for the beneift of its members alone. The justice system exists for the people NOT for Mr Finlayson and the QC club. Molloy should be commended for having the courage to stand up and say it how it is....and for provoking this debate.

Key had to reign in Finlayson over his dealings when attempting to gift the Urewera National Park to Maori. And he needs to be brought to heel, again, over his astonishing attack on Tony Molloy.

In matters of the judiciary, Finlayson needs to use his skills where best suited: that, of clerking for a junior solicitor, doing pro bono legal aid work for a charitable social services organisation.

The kid is flailing about that he is a downright embarrassment, as well as a liability.

Erratum: "rein"

Fox meet hen-house. In my view, Mr Finlayson has shown lack of judgement and little decorum with his outburst, and his comments are unbefitting the office of the AG. The legal profession is awash with rogues and scoundrels (of whom I know a few), and from the ranks of which judges are drawn. Rightly or wrongly, the public perception of the legal profession is lower than that of used car salesmen and there is a significant public relationship and image problem, that spills over to members of the judiciary. Adding salt to the wounds of the NZ public, is that the judiciary is viewed as an old boy network where its members are unaccountable and untouchable, yet the public employs them to protect and uphold society’s rights. Forgive the pun, but the noose has further tightened around the necks of the judiciary for 2 main reasons 1) the abolition of the Privy Council 2) the advent of the internet and the proliferation of blogs/facebook/twitter/ etc. It is my very strong view, that if the Courts want (not demand) the respect of society, then they need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The first step to doing this, is by becoming more accountable, transparent and engaging more actively with them.


Finlayson is a stuffy wee idiot. Molloy is solid. His comments are worthy of serious consideration. This is funnier than that boofhead Simon Power purporting to tick off the Chief Justice.

Judges can't defend themselves.

In the UK the creation of a specialist construction court has been very successful but it all costs money even tho it probably ends up saving money as cases are overseen by Judges who know the space and it becomes less of a lottery.

Malloy QC has too much intellectual horsepower for the AG so one can only imagine that he now has a trembling puckered p hole as it can only be assumed that he has bitten off more than he can chew.

Malloy QC will now no doubt make further considered comments on where he sees improvements can be made.

It we consider the recent loss of our soldiers is attributable to the GFC and our guys not being properly funded and the SAS not being properly on the pay roll to keep the other side at bay the thrust of economic savings in terms of the judiciary means that generally only half cocked lawyers will be attracted to the bench.

Malloy has a point - these sort of points have in fact been made by a number of lawyers for a long time now - and the AG has a duty to stand up for the judiciary who cannot defend themselves.

Justice generally rinses out in the wash anyway .

Somebody who is prepared to attribute legal personality to the Whanganui River cannot be taken seriously. He lives in a world of fairies, goblins and taniwha.

Get a load of that moron, Judge Neave, and the excuses he gave when letting Hallwright, off. Must be in a clandestine romantic relationship with him.

How did that congenital idiot get to be judge, FFS!!

Speaking from my point of view of one who also has been convicted (twice on the one charge) without a trial in New Zealand, and as one who has been able to do nothing about it, I say that not only should Tony Molloy keep his QC warrant, he should have it upgraded to a Knighthood. And he should be offered whatever money it takes to have him take on the role of Judicial Conduct Commissioner. (If he wants Attorney-General he can have this too as far as I'm concerned.)

Political correctness has become the standout modern flaw in our judiciary.
After 800 years of a hierarchical courts structure in which bad law is progressively weeded out through a process of appeals, this 800-year process has been replaced in one fell-swoop with a refusal by the judiciary to offend each other.
So that correction of a mad or bad decision by a DCJ, is a worse offence than adhering to good law is, because correcting an errant colleague just will not do.
And 800 years of perfected legal refinement processes and precedents can go to Hell in a handbasket virtually overnight.

Correction: that last political correctness comment was not anonymous, it was me. F*** political correctness. PC is the one-greatest-of-all modern enemies of justice.

The loyal subjects of Queen Elizabeth owe Anthony Mollow QC nothing but praise for standing up against those who regularly abuse the powers vested in them by the Crown.

The sooner the mentally-impaired judge Neave is forced off the Bench, the better.

In my considered opinion it is the 'fitness for duty' of the Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson, that should be questioned?

What a disgraceful personal attack on Tony Molloy QC!

How is this disgraceful personal attack on Tony Molloy QC, not an absolute abuse of power by the 'highest acting lawyer in the land'?

No doubt this outspokeness by a man of Tony Molloy's callibre, 'blowing the whistle' against NZ judicial structural incompetence, would be arguably most 'vexatious' for an Attorney-General who is attempting to 'defend the indefensible' - but it doesn't mean that what is being said is not the TRUTH and HONEST OPINION?

New Zealand - 'perceived' to be the 'least corrupt country in the world' - with our 'out-of-control' judiciary - where our NZ Judges have no enforceable 'Code of Conduct'; no Register of Percuniary Interests and where court proceedings are regularly not recorded?

Heaven help us.

Good on you Tony Molloy!

Keep up the GREAT work.

Penny Bright
'Anti-corruption campaigner'

It is not Mr Finlaysons job to be outraged, it is his job to look at Mr Molloy's criticisim in a calm and rational manner , to question if there is a problem with our justice system that needs fixing ?, and if so how would the fix best be achieved?
Mr. Finlaysons outrage tends to indicate that he is more interested in squashing dissent, consequently, we need more Molloy's , anthony Grants etc to keep the Finlaysons of this world honest. I understand that our chief Justice is similarly easily outraged over this issue as well and has chosen to ignore the recent Bar association questionaire which came out very much in favour of a specialised Bar.
Why are they so emotively defending a system that does not deliver, thier job is to ensure it works ?

In this case I must agree with penny bright's comments; what gives Finlayson the audacity to think that judges are above criticism?
Indeed,several recent judicial rulings have called the quality of our judiciary into serious doubt.
Finlayson's own performance leaves much to be desired and I think he should have a hard look at his own glass house before casting stones.
And his arrogant comment about "lay persons" (who put him in his job)shows how out of touch he is.

Mr Finlayson should be aware that Mr Molloy is an experienced legal expert with familiarity with the Courts and Judicial matters as well, as doubtless knowing members of the judiciary. What he's criticising is from an informed standpoint. What we as laypersons observe certainly are failings in the system and knowledge-gaps in members of the Judiciary that cannot help the cause of justice or fair verdicts and sentencing.

Finlayson has a problem with values one minute he votes against gay marriage ,real courage their Chris then nek minute he's bagging a QC for standing up for the courage of his convictions.

Finlayson is wrong Malloy is correct. The NZ judicial system requires an overhaul it is at times a shonky fraud. I witnessed that first hand in Arklow vs McLean the Matakana litigation where I experienced a quality of service one would expect from Irish Pikes. Gross mistakes , conflicts of interest, all added to a very bad performance then when u tried addressingthe issues with Finlayson he sided with the judicial ranks and refused to answer my key concerns.

Read these cases cited, you will see that the surface is barely being scratched in what the public knows:

[2009] NZCA 110
[2009] NZCA 596
[2010] NZCA 587
[2012] NZCA 406

Hint, any lawyer speaking out about (not even against) the system does so at their grave peril...

Is it not the case that in the early 1990's our justice system was sold off (as a profit machine) to an improperly registered corporation on the US Securities Exchange and all it would take to have it returned to NZ ownership is a little investigation into the paperwork and in particular the purported signatures, which I understand are nothing more than very rough forgeries?

What would it cost to prove me wrong?

rod (Rodney's legal representative)

Two days and not a murmur!

Has the cat got the opposition's tounge, or is the cost of proving me wrong looking too high to even consider?


Still no challenge!

I wonder what else may have been sold under such signatures? Could Mr Molloy be on to something?

Attention all : Truth Loving Citizens of Aotearoa - New Zealand

Possible Corruptions of Administrative Lore / Law within all of : THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT Administrative Law / Lore jurisdictions. There being as yet no Anticorruption Commission / Commissioner appointed with a go anywhere warrant anywhere within NEW ZEALAND.
We, the men and women of New Zealand are now compelled to compile a record of as many past and present :
Courts-Judicial-Barrister - Lawyer- Government Agents - Public Servants many and varied possible legal mischief's and corruptions.

If you have any story to tell. please asap, post all relevant information, all Court Case Numbers, Names Date etc and your own written consent(s) to access these same files:
To : " Investigations", P.O. Box 357 Orewa 0946.
please - Please - PLEASE ! circulate this panui - public notice within all of your loved ones - whanau - extended family - social networks E.&O.E.

In my experience the rule of law is non-existent in NZ's Family courts. We won our court cases (gagging orders against us) however we were so terrified by the total lack of adherence to the rule of law that we immediately fled NZ in fear. We took our high-tech company overseas and now develop high-tech products for some of the largest organisations in the world. The family courts are NZ’s Guantanamo Bay where, cloaked in secrecy, the State does it’s dirty deeds beyond the constraints of the law and the rule of law. We found the Family court to be the most lawless environment we have ever been in, in our entire lives. Dr Tony Molloy we salute you. We invite everyone to download the pdf summarising our experience here:

This is a story of incredible injustice and I hope everyone gets an opportunity to read it.