16 October 2006

Validating legislation - under urgency

NewstalkZB: Parliament in urgency over overspend I extremely disappointed by the decision to pass validating legislation under urgency tomorrow. You will see from previous posts, I don't consider that retrospective validating legislation is necessarily objectionable, although I'm not convinced that the validating legislation needed if the parties pay the money back. However, there's no need to rush it through the House, without the ordinary notice and select committee scrutiny. No-one has yet seen a copy of the draft legislation. Despite requesting a copy under the OIA as a matter of urgency, I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of the Treasury advice which the Minister says requries this action. Expediting this type of legislation leads to citizens distrusting our Parliament. If there are legitimate imperatives underlying the need for the legislation then the legislation will survive the democratic processes and scrutiny. The government ought to allow the country time to consider and assess these imperatives.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea at all why the Government thinks this legislation is so important and urgent?

LBJ said...

Perhaps surprisingly, I disagree. It took me a while, but I worked it out:

my thoughts are here:
http://www.sirhumphreys.com/lbj/2006/oct/16/the_answer

Urgency is the only defensible, constitutionally acceptable approach (although the legislation shouldn't change the rules in the future, or override the Darnton litigation).

I'm very interested in your take on my take.

Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"


This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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