Youth Court Judge speaks out, sky doesn’t fall

Written By: - Date published: 3:08 pm, July 31st, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags: , , ,

A couple of weeks ago Justice Minister Simon Power slammed Chief Justice Sian Elias for commenting on possibilities of change in the criminal justice system. He was unimpressed that the Chief Justice would dally into the realm of policy when it is the job of judges to apply the law, not to make it.

Setting aside the possibility that the Chief Justice’s comments were legitimate, rather than an attempt to influence government policy, it is interesting that Chief Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft has apparently gone uncriticised for his recent suggestion that New Zealand needs to get tough on alcohol to combat youth violence.

So, Minister, is there one rule for commenting on youth crime and another for commenting on general crime? Or is it possible that both Judge Becroft and Chief Justice Elias were just offering good, sound, on-the-ground suggestions for public debate?

13 comments on “Youth Court Judge speaks out, sky doesn’t fall”

  1. Ianmac 1

    Simon Says you must develop Selective Memory Syndrome SSS. No correspondence will be entered into unless you wish the full Power of the state to fall upon you!

  2. Doug 2

    Spot the difference.

    Chief Justice,
    Chief Youth Court Judge.

    • snoozer 2.1

      I spot the difference. One is pointing out issues that call the status quo National favours into question. The other is calling into question a status quo that National wants to change.

      There’s certainly nothing wrong with either judge speaking as they have.

      You just don’t like what one of them said.

  3. BLiP 3

    Alternatively, the Youth Court Judge’s comments were easy to understand while The Chief Justice’s comments required thoughtful consideration.

  4. So Bored 4

    Who ever runs this blog should get Andrew Beecroft’s opinions on youth offending up in neon capitals. Without knowing who or what he was I had a conversation with him at a party a few years ago, talked about socialising teenagers, his level of wisdom and observation are truly staggering. I dont know or care what his politics are, can only say we are a very lucky place to have him on the bench.

    • He worked for years at the Mangere Law Centre earning minimum money but providing a very important service to the community. And he is very talented.

      Nuff said?

  5. Chris G 5

    Im just waiting for their personal details to be released by Power, after all…. I want all the facts on the table

  6. Lew 6


    As you were 🙂


  7. Zorr 7

    I read that article and see an opinion that is stating that which seems like it should be obvious. The lowered drinking age has hurt our system and that we need strong communities that are willing to work together and look after each other, including their dysfunctional youth.

    Doesn’t seem that he is advocating the “hard on crime” stance so much as a measured approach to assist and rehabilitate those that need it.

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    You really have no idea how these things work do you?

    It’s very simple. Becroft’s comments passed the “Does it give the Garrotte a stiffy?” test. That’s how National run all their justice and corrections policy these days, it seems.

    • Dave 8.1

      hahahaha stiffy test, crack up, i almost choked on my bourbon!!

      can we have garrett as the next caption comp? lets face it, he doesn’t have to strike a pose, any photo will do 🙂

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