14 September 2010

Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Bill: a democratically consistent alternative

Much has been made in debates about the need to act urgently and the time it would be take to tailor more specific legislative amendments. 

But why? 

If the Bill can be passed in one day, why can't the Parliament adopt a "rolling maul" approach? 

Set up a skeletal structure and process.  Identify the most pressing laws that need to be relaxed (eg RMA and Building Act). Relax them immediately.

Then as and when specific problems are identified, Parliament can add them through the parliamentary process. 

It's not like there is an emergency situation where Parliament cannot meet.  Below is the sitting programme for the rest of the year, that shows plenty of regular meetings of Parliament:

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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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