Two revelations last week raise concerns about abuse of power among the New Zealand judiciary. One is Dame Lowell Goddard bullying the New Zealand Herald to take down an online feed of a Daily Mail
story of her billing UK taxpayers NZD10,000 to ship personal possessions from New Zealand – a story which accurately referred to Goddard as disgraced former head of the UK Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in the first sentence.
The second is an ultra vires, indirect and tyrannical threat of criminal contempt by District Judge Dale Fleur Clarkson against a member of the public for sending two emails to Law Society Tribunal referees calling each a ‘corrupt cunt’ – in a proceeding Judge Clarkson had been previously debarred on grounds she was abusive and unprofessional.
First Goddard. Before Goddard’s judge services were exported to England in 2015 she was billed by government propaganda as a trail-blazing Maori and premier defender of human rights. This was despite a local lawyer survey of judges which ranked her dead last among NZ Judges due largely to her laziness, hypocritical rulings, ineptitude and clumsy fixation on defending Crown interests. Once exposed to the disinfectant sunshine of a free press in England, she quickly was labelled as a racist who blamed sex offenses on Asians, a Crown sycophant who blindly said royal family members could not be involved in the sex abuse scandal due to their ‘breeding’, and openly admitted to ignorance of elementary English law to her staff. Goddard’s preemptive resignation letter 18-months after her appointment even incorrectly stated she resigned as ‘Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse’. By any gauge, the press reports in New Zealand on this judge could not be reconciled with those of the local lawyer survey and British press.
Unlike the New Zealand press Goddard could not control the British press. She returned to the tried and true land of the long white shroud media to fix this. Fairfax online feed “stuff.co.nz” ran a ‘poor me’ interview in which Goddard whinged about how the government failed to defend her conduct in her British stint notwithstanding her spending 74 days AWOL in her first year, failing to conduct any hearings and failing merely to get the name of the inquiry correct which she headed. Only in New Zealand.
Then there is District Judge Clarkson. Although limited in her knowledge of the law as Goddard, this ignorance has not dampened Clarkson’s sense of personal entitlement and power. Last week Judge Clarkson sent out a letter which directed a suspended lawyer to instruct a former client that he would be held in contempt of court under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act for sending insulting emails to Law Society tribunal members. She had earlier been disqualified from judicial involvement in the case because she demanded the lawyer appear before her notwithstanding the lawyer’s new born baby was in intensive care. The letter was audacious on many levels. This sworn judicial officer asked a lawyer to breach a tribunal order, on her own initiative, in a proceeding she had been barred from having any involvement, against a lay person she had no jurisdiction over. And, to top it all off, the advice Clarkson instructed the suspended lawyer to give his former client was blatantly incorrect legal advice – i.e. that the lay person would be held in criminal contempt of court under lawyer regulation legislation if he again called any tribunal member “a corrupt cunt”. The fact that the lay person took no steps to conceal his identity – sending the emails from his personal email address – only underscored Clarkson’s blatant abuse of her judicial power, as the appropriate response was to the sender and not his former lawyer who is under orders not to give legal advice during his suspension. Clarkson admitted spending time and resources to find out the lawyer had once represented the man prior to sending the letter. Only in New Zealand.
This latest story of Goddard and Clarkson might cause some in New Zealand to wonder whether the first country to give woman the right to vote has perpetrated a virulent case of the lawless bitches. But as any experienced litigant will tell you, the male judges can be far worse. We simply do not hear about it for the same reason you only know about these two charlatans latest actions from reading this story. Only in New Zealand.