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Collins wants second opinion on Bain report

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Latest News | Tuesday December 11 2012 9:51

Collins wants second opinion on Bain report


Judith Collins is blunt in explaining why she wants a second opinion on the report on compensation for David Bain.

She says the retired Canadian judge's report appears to contain assumptions based on incorrect facts, and shows a misunderstanding of New Zealand law.

The Justice Minister has asked for a peer review into the report by Justice Ian Binnie.

Judith Collins says the report lacks a robustness of reasoning used to justify its conclusions.

Since she told him she wasn't happy, Justice Binnie has provided her with two revised versions of his report.

The minister says seeking a second opinion was not a decision she made lightly, but justice needs to be done, and a proper process undertaken.

Ms Collins has called in Robert Fisher QC for a second opinion.

She says the Canadian's report showed he wasn't familiar with New Zealand law.

"There are parts of the report, particularly around facts, matters of fact, but also around process that would not mean it would stand up to any sort of scrutiny."

More than $400,000 was spent on hiring Justice Ian Binnie who's since supplied two further reports.

Ms Collins was asked whether there's now a danger of the process costing more than any compensation that may be paid.

"These are the sorts of recommendations that have to be above the dollar value, they have to be above individual cases. This is an extremely important issue.

"I will not deal with the issue in a cheap manner, which is going to end up with a result which does not stand up to public scrutiny."

David Bain's lawyer, Michael Reed QC, says he wants the minister to stop working on the matter in secrecy.

"We've asked for the report, she has refused to give it to us, but she gives the report to our opponent. And then when she doesn't like the report, she gets legal advice from our opponent - it's just screwy, really."

Michael Reed says the rate things are going, the costs of coming to a decision are going to exceed any compensation David Bain receives.

Photo: Getty Images

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