Thursday, February 19, 2015

Here we go again

So, after a review, a secret one-sided "peer review" of the review, a judicial review and a secret settlement deal, we're now back to square one on David Bain's bid for compensation, with another review:

Cabinet will go back to square one on the David Bain compensation case and has commissioned a fresh inquiry.

A 2012 report by former Canadian Supreme Court judge Justice Ian Binnie, which found Bain was innocent on the balance of probabilities, was rejected by ex-Justice Minister Judith Collins, sparking court action by Bain's legal team.

Collins' successor Amy Adams said Cabinet does not have the information to "reasonably" make a decision.

She has asked for the new report and says it is important "the final decision on Mr Bain's claim is durable and withstands the close scrutiny the case attracts."

Hopefully it will be better managed than the last clusterfuck. But with Collins out of the picture, that's probably guaranteed. I doubt Adams will be dumb enough to leak inquiry material to a sewerblogger while she's meant to be considering it, for example...

But the fundamental problem still remains: while Bain was imprisoned for a prolonged period before being eventually acquitted, whether he receives compensation will ultimately be decided by a bunch of politicians, who, like Collins, will be driven by vote-grubbing rather than justice. And that is not a recipe for a just outcome. We would be far better replacing our current ad-hoc scheme with a statutory one, to provide compensation for all victims of miscarriages of justice, rather than just those who the government thinks are white enough and sympathetic enough to get them votes.