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Bain files against Collins

Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, January 30th, 2013 - 63 comments
Categories: accountability, Judith Collins, law - Tags: ,

David Bain has filed a claim against Judith Collins. Here’s The Herald’s / APNZ quick announcement:

David Bain has filed a High Court claim against Justice Minister Judith Collins seeking a judicial review of her actions since she received the Justice Binnie report last August.

The claim includes allegations Ms Collins has breached Mr Bain’s rights to natural justice and his rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, acted in bad faith, abused her power, and acted in a biased, unreasonable and predetermined manner.

– more to come


63 comments on “Bain files against Collins”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    Excellent. I hope he wins.

  2. Good job. The stench of breach of natural justice is overwhelming in this case …

    • King Kong 2.1

      Not as overwhelming as the stench coming from the rotting corpses of his family…[possibly libelous comment deleted – r0b]

      • King Kong 2.1.1

        Fair enough r0b

        …Who he may or may not have killed

        • kiwi_prometheus

          Who you may or may not have killed.

          You may or may not have had sex with little boys too, KK,

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Even mass murderers (if Bain is actually one) are entitled to natural justice KK.

        • TiggerViper

          Collins is relying on the ‘he did it’ brigade to okay her actions. Won’t wash here, righties. Justice is justice and Bain deserves fair treatment. Collins and the Cabinet are acting unfairly. A review is very welcome. We don’t want any government acting like this.

          • McFlock

            I’m not sure they’ve acted unfairly as such, especially as I take the views that he probably did it and that compensation should be based on clear wrongdoing (rather than reasonable doubt as to guilt being achieved on a “try, then try again” basis).

            But then that’s what the court is for. I don’t begrudge him the attempt.

    • Tanz 2.2

      Natural justice can go jump. The pile of evidence against DB is huge, and the second jury never found him ínnocent either. Hope he loses. What a travesty if he got even one red cent Does no one care abut the memory of the slain Bain family, or the fact that Robin’s name has been so unfairly slandered? The evidence against Robin is absolute nil, unless you count unconfirmed cries and whispers.

      • Kevin Welsh 2.2.1

        I suggest you read the Privy Council’s decision followed by the Binne Report before jumping to ridiculous conclusions.

        • Roy

          The Privy Council did not find him innocent, and Binnie’s report is a piece of junk.

          • Pascal's bookie

            You can keep saying “Privy Council did not find him innocent” as long as you like, but it won’t make you look any smarter.

            What was the privy councils job?
            What was the question they were answering?

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    I do not think he is entitled to compensation but he has been treated terribly by this corrupt government.

    I hope he nails that personifcation of evil – Judith Collins

    • higherstandard 3.1

      How is Collins a personification of evil ?

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        Well, joking about sexual assaults in prison when she implemented double-bunking was pretty bad.

        And she’s a national party minister, so a certain amount of evil accrues as a result of simply existing.

        • CV - Real Labour

          And she’s a national party minister, so a certain amount of evil accrues as a result of simply existing.

          🙂 McFlock, that’s very Tibetan of you

  4. RJLC 4

    Quietly amused as I assume Collins is aware that this particular team won’t give up if knocked back in a court ruling.
    She has it coming to her.

  5. mike 5

    …acted in bad faith, abused his or her power, and acted in a biased, unreasonable and predetermined manner.

    Pretend you don’t know the above is referring to Collins. You have to guess which current minister is being talked about. How many candidates are there?

  6. Red Rosa 6


    Interestingly, Rodney Hide and the NBR have some trenchant comments.

    Presumably the Labour Opposition have a spokesperson on Justice?

    • Colonial Weka 6.1

      Sure, they’ll be around in a couple of days.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      As much as I really don’t like Rodney Hide I have to say he’s encapsulated the core of the problem here.

      Personally I don’t care a rat’s patui if David Bain is innocent or guilty. None of us will ever know one or another for certain and it long past the point when we will ever find out.

      The problem is that right from the outset the Police were under immense public pressure to ‘get their man’ and as Justice Binnie clearly summarises, comprehensively failed to take a sound case to Court. As a result the evidence was contradictory and confusing, and has polarised public opinion for over a decade now. That is the root cause of the problem.

      A sound political system would have recognised this a very long time ago and responded with measures to ensure that the Police system both acknowledged and corrected their mistakes.

      Instead the entire debacle has been made far worse by a complete by a police, prosecution, judicial and political system that has engaged in a long drawn-out circling of the wagons. For almost 20 years almost no-one in the system had the balls to ask some hard questions. Judith Collins is merely the latest and most egregious example.

      This goes way beyond David Bain; it is now a political question of far greater import to us all.

  7. Blue 7

    David Bain and Joe Karam doing what they do best – just keep going to Court until you get one that gives you an answer you like.

    • aerobubble 7.1

      Wow, don’t tell anyone, everyone would do that and the courts would come to a grinding halt.
      Or, you could be wrong, and checks and balances are in place to stop such fishing expeditions.
      Laws come about due to friction, from cases like Bain, where the status quo closes ranks when it makes mistakes, and we all should worry that its taking so long to rectify EITHER way.
      When the evidence is poor the system should slap itself on the hand and do better, not
      spend its time trying to ‘get justice’ when it has denied the path to justice but won’t admit it.
      Walking in on a crime scene does not mean you are instancing guilty and its shocking that
      so many believe courts should convict someone anyone by association.

  8. Treetop 8

    Can the dispute over paying Bain compensation go to the Privy Council for a decision even though a person can no longer can go there to appeal?

    Previously Bain had a ruling from the Privy Council and this was binding. The cost is secondary to justice being delivered.

  9. tc 9

    Collins has overstepped the arrogant mark even she normally stays behind in this case and had it coming.

    How, ironic would it be, that after all Bain’s alleged to have done and alleged to have got away with he ends up doing this good deed by bringing down crusher.

    Hollow men rejoice at the possible dismantling of an unelectable potential lead puppet which possibly wouldn’t follow their script.

  10. Tanz 10

    Everyone keeps having a go at the messenger, Collins, rather then admitting as to how error-ridden Binnie’s report was.

    • Kevin Welsh 10.1

      Have you actually read the Binnie Report?

      Or the Privy Council’s decision?

      • Blue 10.1.1

        I have. And in my view, Binnie’s report is a load of crap. It’s a miracle this guy is such a respected judge given the amateurish way he comes off in the report.

        He believes everything David Bain says uncritically and believes that he has some sort of power to determine whether Bain is a credible witness or not – 18 years after the event.

        He has some sort of worship complex regarding the Privy Council, and one law lord in particular, and seems to think it out of the question to do anything other than heartily approve and endorse every fart that comes from their direction.

        His weighing up of the forensic evidence is bizzarely centred around the luminol footprints, one of the dodgiest bits of evidence, which he seems to think proves David innocent, and he goes out of his way to insult the forensic scientist who tried to point out the limitations, basically calling him a liar who tried to pervert the course of justice.

        Not to mention the way he goes beyond his brief like he’s on some sort of personal crusade to get compensation for Bain.

        Yeah, sorry, but if I was handed that ream of toilet paper I’d demand a new report too.

        • framu

          whoopdeedo – none of that is the issue in regards to what bain and co are going to court about

          its collins’ actions in regards to keeping one party in the dark on purpose – that is the complaint – NOT the contents of the report

          • CV - Real Labour

            Exactly. Collins went about this all wrong. She should have just stuck to procedure and good practice, and torpedoed the Binnie report using due process, instead of all her extra-ordinary crap.

        • RJLC

          You must have read a different report on Bain from Binnie to the one that I read.

          • Tanz

            It seems to me, everyone here has it fn for Judith Collins, just because she is the Minister in charge of justice. If a Labour Minister made the same decision, would there be this kind of response?

            She is just trying to be fair and balanced, which Justice Binnie’s report was not, in my opinion.

            • CV - Real Labour

              “Fair and balanced” really this is such a Crosby Textor MSM news caption

              Collins played the game dumb, that’s the main problem here. She should have released the report to the public and to Bain’s team as they requested. And let independent commentators rip it to shreds. Instead she opened herself up to accusations of using ad hoc inexplicable extraordinary procedures.

            • One Tāne Huna

              “It seems to me”. Yep, there’s the problem. Ill-informed self-appointed pundits who think they know better than the courts, the jury, the Privy Council et al on the basis of stuff they’ve read on the internet.

              Just like the cops in the initial case in fact.

              Judith Collins is pretty much what you deserve.

            • framu

              “She is just trying to be fair and balanced”

              then why did she expressly state in notes to fisher that she had no intention of involving the bain camp?

              • Tanz

                possibly because the Bain camp want taxpayers dosh?
                Just possibly? (and just possibly, the first jury were correct….)

                • framu

                  both points are utterly irrelevant

                  you cant claim she is just being fair and balanced – then turn around and make excuses for one party to a legal dispute not being included in subsequent developments

        • aerobubble

          Binnie report is crap, say some, so sack the Minister who didn’t do a credible back ground check and cost us half a million and counting.

      • Tanz 10.1.2

        It’s common knowledge, Kevin. Of course I have. I have read all the books avail too, on both sides.

        • Kevin Welsh

          Good, then you will be well aware of the reasons why the Privy Council quashed the conviction, then?

          Yet still, you know better?

      • Roy 10.1.3

        I’ve read both. The Privy Council did not say Bain was innocent. Binnie’s report is shot through with serious errors.

  11. vto 11

    It’s not about whether he did it, it’s about whether the right process was followed in assessing his compensation situation

    and given the actions of this government in so many other areas it is overwhelmingly such a case for independent investigation of this government.



    they are crooks



  12. Tiresias 12

    “Can the dispute over paying Bain compensation go to the Privy Council for a decision even though a person can no longer can go there to appeal?”

    I suspect not. The whole purpose of trial by Jury is to take questions of guilt or innocence out of the Crown’s purview, and if the Jury gets it wrong the Crown is not responsible – unless it can be shown that the Crown acted improperly. Incompetence or even deliberate malfeasance by the police does not amount to impropriety by the Crown. The payment of compensation for wrongful imprisonment is entirely within the Crown’s discretion and would normally be paid if it can be shown that officers or representatives of the Crown acted wrongfully – but being a matter of discretion for the Crown no court could or would interfer.

    Which makes Bain’s actions here surprising to me. In order to succeed in the action he would need to be able to show convincingly that the Minister acted in breach of her obligations, which are pretty vaguely drawn. According to the Cabinet Manual – “Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards.” But an expectation is not a legal duty and anyway as we’ve seen over and over, what consititutes “the highest ethical standards” – or even quite modest ethical standards – is very much in the eye of the beholder. I would suggest that Bain would need to show that in rejecting Justice Binnie’s report Collins was motivated by a malice or prejudice against him personally – but short of his producing a recording of Collins stating that as far as she was concerned Bain would only get compensation over her dead body, I can’t image how he could do that.

    Collins, though, was way out of line rejecting Binnie’s report and recommendation. She had a difficult decision to make as a Minister, one she knew wouldn’t please everyone whatever it was, so she did the intelligent, even the proper thing, and invited a highly-respected third party to made the decision for her. She chose Binnie and in the absence of a blatant and fundamental error was at least honour-bound to accept his decision. By rejecting it she certainly gives every appearance of not agreeing with it and of now wanting it done again by someone else who will get it right. She has that right – the decision is ultimately hers – but it isn’t a good look, I think it’s damaging to the New Zealand Government as having seen what happened to Binnie overseas experts now won’t want anything to do with it and I, personally, think she’s acting unethically. But whatever is ‘expected’ of her that’s what I’ve come to expect from Ministers of this Government.

    • RJLC 12.1

      She chose Binnie

      I believe Binnie was chosen under Simon Power’s watch, not Collin’s.

      • aerobubble 12.1.1

        Laws come about because of friction. Frustration with remedies to wrongs. The effect of denying Bain compensation would be hugely detrimental to justice since it means when the criminal process makes mistakes so egregious that see a person jailed, when its shown beyond a reasonable doubt they were not guilty, that the justice system is incapable of righting the wrong.
        The civil standard of a balance of probabilities does not send people to jail, so its obvious bias that any government party would use the balance of probabilities on one particular person, David Bain, to justify not paying any compensation, or delaying compensation (justice denied).

        What Collins has done, at the behest of her PM, is a disgrace and the fact that he did not demote her should send shivers down any law loving member of our society. The rule of law is not a opportunity for political expediency, play with it at your peril. The backbone of lawyers in this country is truly worrying.

    • Treetop 12.2

      The decision to compensate Bain has to be taken out of Collin’s hand because it is clear that she wants to argue and argue until she gets the answer she wants. Had Binnie given Collin’s the answer she wants she would be waving Binnie’s report about and being vocal saying the decision is an independent one.

      Even though the decision to compensate is discretionary, Collin’s is not acting in good faith as she is not being impartial; she is acting like the a crown prosecutor.

  13. aerobubble 13

    So this lawyer on TV argued that Bain
    did not have a right to due process
    because the government procedure was
    above the courts. Now, I get that
    lawyers are stupid as a collective since
    they let this lawyers declare definitively the law,
    given their whole profession is based
    around client seeking redress under
    due process. And I understand that
    NZ as a signatory to international
    protections to stop government arbitrarily
    removing due process on citizens
    because their name is David Bain.
    But what I don’t get is why a lawyer
    would want to do away with the need for
    their profession, since arbitrary government
    to do away with outliers is where the money is
    and how much of the bulk of the law comes from.

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