Tuesday, April 19, 2011


According to Stuff, the Urewera 18 are seeking leave to appeal the decision to deny them a jury trial to the Supreme Court. Good. Trial by jury is a fundamental right, and a vital check on the justice system. The decision to deny a jury in such a controversial and politically charged case is a travesty of justice which will fatally undermine the credibility of the trial in the public eye. And regardless of what you think about the case, that is not a Good Thing.

This is an important case, and it needs to be heard. We all need to know whether the government is allowed to structure a trial to be long and complex, then use those decisions to deny a jury. And if it can, then we need to look seriously and urgently at the law which allows it to do so.