"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts

Until we have legislation adopted into law to ensure fiduciary accountability and transparency in public affairs we will continue to have human rights breached because the existing crown immunity and lack of any independent oversight invites corruption to flourish.


"Question authority, and think for yourself" - Timothy Leary


"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts


"Information is the currency of democracy" - Thomas Jefferson


‎"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." - Margaret Mead

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it. Let it loose, it will defend itself."

"I = m c 2 [squared] where "I" am information" - Timothy Leary

"Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen

"The internet is a TV that watches you"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The war on drugs - Department of Corrections:

Here is the decision regarding the matter of the Department of Corrections and their medical treatment and record keeping, which is a damning indictment on the care of prisoners in this country, and the outrageous incompetence of prison staff regarding this man's medication and treatment and the standard of information recording, which was described by an expert witness as demonstrating "a level of incompetence to a standard that is professionally embarrassing", and not only did it fall below acceptable standards, but that "the nursing care in relation to safe medical administration was a severe departure from the expected standards."  That's putting it mildly.

The decision can also be read at this link in a clearer format than the embedded file below.

Paragraph 17 states that prison custodial staff are permitted to issue prisoners with over the counter (OTC) medication such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, but paragraph 18 states "At Auckland Prison custodial staff are reluctant to administer (OTC) medication."  No explanation is offered for this statement, but it has been established that this is based on prison policy, a policy amounting to breach of human rights, and torture.

Under the heading "Documentation", paragraphs 21 to 23 list the requirements for recording information regarding the administration of medication to prisoners.  These requirements are clear, explicit and extensive.

Paragraphs 24 and 25 show that these requirements were apparently ignored:


From paragraph 26 onwards this report from the Human Rights Review Tribunal is harrowing reading.  The level of carelessness regarding the administration and recording of the medication prescribed for "Mr E" is truly shocking.  The Department of Corrections has a duty of care to prisoners, the 'care' afforded "Mr E" and other prisoners is completely and utterly unacceptable.

Roger Brooking is one of the few people documenting this, raising awareness of it and calling for change - this affects everyone.  His website documents a litany of similar damning information and provides a particularly thorough investigation of other cases of similar treatment.

Prisoners are released every day after they've been "corrected" by the Department of Corrections, they return to our communities and live among us, their children go to school and play with ours.  The Department of Corrections has a duty of care, and a duty to correct.  Treating people like this doesn't foster empathy, and no doubt contributes to the unacceptably high child abuse statistics in 'New Zealand'.  It's callous, negligent, careless, and it demonstrates very well just how badly our prisons are being run, and it also indicates that the system is broken - the fact that Mr E had to go to the Human Rights Review Tribunal indicates that he first had to jump through hoops at the Privacy Commission and/or the Health and Disability Commission, Human Rights Commission, etc.  Lucky he had a lawyer - the vast majority of people in his position don't, Criminal Bar Association v Attorney General makes it perfectly clear that lawyers avoid doing work for legally-aided clients or the poor.

The decision regarding Mr E, the Department of Corrections and their medical treatment and record keeping is a damning indictment on the Department, and the standard of governance in general.

The outrageous incompetence of prison staff regarding this man's medication and treatment and the standard of information recording was described by an expert witness, at paragraph 28, as demonstrating "a level of incompetence to a standard that is professionally embarrassing", and not only did it fall below acceptable standards, but that "the nursing care in relation to safe medical administration was a severe departure from the expected standards."




Read more at Roger Brooking's Brookingblog.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Email exchange with Acting Registrar regarding application for recall of France J's decision:



 24 August 2016
To the Registrar, High Court, Wellington
Attached is an urgent application for recall of the judgment of France J on the grounds that new evidence has become available which clearly establishes reasonable doubt regarding the evidence of the complainant and Police, the application includes a request for waiver of filing fee.
This decision is vitally relevant to proceedings currently before the Human Rights Review Tribunal, for this reason we request it be dealt with URGENTLY as a substantial miscarriage of justice has occurred, it is clear that the Court discriminated unfairly against Mr Mihaka and that his previous lawyers acted negligently in not bringing these matters to the attention of the Court during the previous appeals.
Mr Mihaka and I lack the necessary resources to copy and attach the attachments referred to in the application, they can be viewed at this link.

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7 September 2016:
To the Registrar of the High Court at Wellington:

I emailed an urgent application for recall of a judgment of Simon France J in the matter of Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka v Police, including an application for waiver of any applicable fee, to the High Court at Wellington on 25th August 2016 but have not had any response to the application or acknowledgment of receipt, and am writing to confirm that it has been received and is being actioned.

Please acknowledge receipt of the application urgently - this matter is the subject of imminent hearing in the Human Rights Review Tribunal and it is vital that the application for recall is acknowledged prior to this hearing.  There has been a serious, substantial miscarriage of justice, there is fresh evidence, and this application is URGENT.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9 September 2016
Hello Katherine
I refer to the Application for Recall of Decision referred to in your email below.
Please advise the legislation you rely on to file the application and have the judgment of Simon France J recalled as I have not been able to find any reference in the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 which allows the filing of this application some 14 months after the decision was made.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
Sheena
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to Sheena
Alternatively, 2.3 -
"the miscarriage of justice is serious and the information was not made available within 5 working days - the application was made as soon as the information was made available by the other party."
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1908/0089/latest/DLM1818573.html

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Both rule references relate to Appeals and Reviews in the Civil jurisdiction of the High Court, not the Criminal jurisdiction, which is what your appeal relates to.  The criminal appeal process is governed by the Criminal Procedure Act not the Judicature Act.  I am therefore unable to accept the Application for Recall.

I respectfully suggest seek legal advice as to what other options might be available to you to have Mr Mihaka's conviction readdressed in the Courts.


Kind regards
Sheena
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tena koe Sheena,
We refer to para 61 and others in the attached Law Commission report.
Na Katherine Raue
Maori Agent for Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
22 September 2016:

Hello Katherine,

I acknowledge receipt of your email.  I have forwarded these emails (dated 20/9/16) and the Application for Recall that was attached to your first email (dated 24/8/16) to the civil manager, Jay Fealofani.  I will speak with him regarding our previous correspondence and discuss a way forward.


Kind regards
Sheena

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hello Katherine,

I have spoken to my colleague Jay Fealofani in the civil jurisdiction regarding your original attachment 'Application for Recall of Judgment' - he also has a number of years' experience in the criminal jurisdiction in the District Court. 

I understand that the grounds for the recall are due to a miscarriage of justice because fresh evidence has become available which was not previously considered by the Court.  Your Application then goes on to describe the miscarriage.

Mr Mihaka's Appeal original appeal to this court was in relation to a Judge alone trial held before Her Honour Judge Kelly in the District Court in April 2015.  His first right of appeal against his conviction and sentence was to this Court.  This court heard the appeal on 2 June 2015 and gave its decision on 11 June 2015.  As discussed previously there is no avenue in the Criminal Procedure Act for Mr Mihaka to recall the decision of this court.

In accordance with the Act Mr Mihaka has a second right of appeal to the Court of Appeal.  To commence a second appeal Mr Mihaka needed to file an Application for Leave to Appeal in the Court of Appeal within 20 working days after this Court's decision.

He is now in a position where the Application for Recall cannot be accepted for filing in this court and the time to appeal to the Court of Appeal has expired.  I can see no action available to him through the criminal jurisdiction and this Application will not be progressed any further.

As to whether Mr Mihaka has the option to file a Judicial Review in the civil jurisdiction, that I don't know however Mr Mihaka cannot expect to continue relitigating matters based on further evidence he has found.  He needs to seek legal advice around what his options are if he wishes to progress these matters.


Kind regards
Sheena


cid:image001.jpg@01CF9788.22490170

Sheena Spiers
Criminal Manager (Acting) | High Court, Wellington 
Phone: +64 4 914 3619 | Ext: 53619

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, we have a stalemate.  The Crown makes all the rules of this game, and changes them to suit - retrospectively if so desired.  If you don't get your act together within 20 days you simply miss out - regardless of the magnitude of the injustice.

And all the time the colonial Crown government have been screwing down 'omnibus' changes to the  legislation regarding criminal and civil Court procedure, to limit the avalanche of claims resulting from the devolving of the system and the privatising of the justice system (along with everything else that's not nailed down), they've been limiting access to legal aid more and more to the point where it's just become an absolute joke - a black joke, a sick joke - a joke on people like Te Ringa Mangu Mihaka and all the other tangata whenua who clog up the 'justice system' and fill the jails, their lives in tatters and their reputations in ruins because of gossip and whispers.

Agent Raue will be framing a further plea to the Court applying sections 237 - 240 of the Criminal Procedure Act, this report will be updated shortly with the further plea.  We also have Plans C, D, E and FU up our sleeves and can come up with more plans if none of those work too.