Greens' bill to keep judges honest

The Green Party has drafted a bill it claims will help keep judges honest. The bill proposes the creation of a pecuniary interest register for judges similar to that already in place for members of parliament.“The recent media coverage involving Justice Wilson has highlighted the lack of transparency around judges' financial interests in New Zealand,” said Greens' justice spokesman Kennedy Graham in a release.

The Green Party has drafted a bill it claims will help keep judges honest.

The bill proposes the creation of a pecuniary interest register for judges similar to that already in place for members of parliament.

“The recent media coverage involving Justice Wilson has highlighted the lack of transparency around judges’ financial interests in New Zealand,” said Greens’ justice spokesman Kennedy Graham in a release.

“Having a register of judges’ pecuniary interests would promote transparency and open government, and help stop perceived conflicts of interest occurring.”

Judges would be required to make an annual return of their pecuniary interests to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, and information would then be made publicly available.

Mr Graham said the bill would “in no way” interfere with judicial independence, which the Greens recognise is vital for a healthy democracy.

He pointed out that countries like Argentina and most parts of the US require members of the judiciary to disclose their financial interests.

The bill’s text is available here.

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