Panel to recommend Supreme Court judges

By HELEN TUNNAH

The judges appointed to the new Supreme Court will be those recommended to the Government by a special panel, Attorney-General Margaret Wilson says.

She assured Parliament yesterday that she would follow the advice of the three-person panel, which has already started work to decide which Court of Appeal judges will be elevated to the bench of the new court.

The Supreme Court is to replace the London-based Privy Council as New Zealand's final court of appeal. It will begin work from the beginning of next year, and formally begin hearing appeals from July.

The process for appointing the start-up Bench of the court has been criticised by Opposition parties, who say it allows the Attorney-General to stack it with sympathetic jurists.

Margaret Wilson has consistently rejected the claims, and said yesterday that she would appoint the judges as they were recommended to her.

The panel comprises Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, Solicitor-General Terence Arnold and former Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves.

Asked by National's justice spokesman, Richard Worth, if she might also reject the advice given by the panel, Margaret Wilson said: "No."

Herald Feature: Supreme Court

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