Sunday, March 27, 2005

Govt v. Juduciary

The NZ Herald has an extensive feature on the supposed fight to the death between the government and the judiciary. I for one think the issue is something of a beatup.

While there have undoubtedly been moments where Dame Sian Elias has expressed points of view which the government has undoubtedly found challenging, it seems to me to be an absolute exaggeration to suggest that this amounts to some kind of constitutional warfare.

While many of the public discussions that have taken place between Dame Sian and senior government ministers have robustly focussed on key issues around the relationship between the executive and the judiciary, I don't actually see where the problem is. There is in New Zealand sometimes a strange fear or dislike of meaningful public discourse on constitutional issues. It is only by having such discussions that we actually begin to clarify the nature of our slightly amorphous constitution - in other words, I actually consider the discussions that Dame Sian has led to be quite healthy.


Anonymous said...

Hey Michael, I need an opinion. Please peruse the discussion at the link I have attached here, and tell me who's side you take on this. If you have the time.

michael wood said...

I don't particularly want to 'take sides' in a debate such as the one you refer to, which seems to have descended to an emotive, personalised slanging match!

Complex discussions about international relations are seldom so simplistic.