11 January 2010

TID-BIT: The uber-Supreme Court?

I noticed this in the Weekend Post.  I figure the government must have secretly set up an uber-Supreme Court...

Convicted double rapist Maka Renata in Wellington - police
Police believe convicted double rapist Maka Renata, who allegedly breached his parole conditions in Christchurch, may now be in Wellington.

Renata, 24, last month completed jail terms for the two rapes - one when he was just 14 years-old.

He was released from prison under several conditions, determined by the Parole Board.

However, on December 23 he left the Christchurch address the board had ordered him to live at and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Detective Senior Sergeant Virginia Le Bas said police had received some good information which was being followed up.

"The most positive information suggests that Maka is in the Wellington area," she said.

Members of the public had called in with information about Renata being seen in other parts of New Zealand, however these sightings have been ruled out, she said.

Police are calling for Maka Renata to turn himself in, amid fears he may reoffend while on the run.

Anyone who might have seen Maka or who was perhaps providing him with assistance should contact their nearest police station immediately, Ms Le Bas said.

Renata, a medium build Maori, 166cm tall, was jailed for seven-and-half years after being convicted of rape committed in June 1999 when he was 14.

He and his foster father Dean Hiroki dragged a 26-year-old Wellington woman into an alley where they held a knife to her throat and took turns raping her.

He was sentenced to an extra three years in jail after sodomising his 15-year-old cellmate about 16 months later.

He was due to be freed more than two years ago but the Department of Corrections applied for a special Parole Act order to keep him in jail until his final release date.


Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said yesterday that Renata's action proved he was not ready for release.

A law change was needed to make it possible to extend prison sentences, he said.

"Everyone seems to think it was in the too-hard basket."

If Renata did reoffend, legal action would be taken against those who had failed to protect the public, he said.

"We need to accept the fact that there are some people who can't be rehabilitated."

The Supreme Court has ruled that Susan Couch – the sole survivor of the Panmure RSA killings in 2001 – can sue Corrections for failing to give her duty of care, because her attacker was on parole when he offended.

That ruling is the subject of an appeal at present.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well there is one NZ judge on a more exalted bench than our SC, but I am not sure if this case is within the ICJ's jurisdiction.

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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