Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Judith Collins is talking bullshit

It’s reported that former local tax lawyer Judith Collins reckons the internationally-respected former Canadian Supreme Court judge’s report on compensation for David Bain is wrong on law, contains assumptions based on incorrect facts, and "lacked a robustness of reasoning used to justify its conclusions.”

I say that’s bullshit.

I say the reason she won’t make Justice Binnie’s report public is because it will be patently obvious everything she says about it is bullshit.

I say the reason she’s not taken the report's recommendation to grant compensation—the only reason—is nothing to do with Justice Binney’s alleged errors in law, and everything to do with the public’s overwhelmingly negative reaction to David Bain getting compensation.

She’s a politician. She couldn’t care less about the law. But she does care about the public.

But the public should get over themselves. The public, who overwhelmingly mistrust David Bain, should realise nonetheless that a jury in our highest court of law found him not guilty after thirteen years in prison for a(nother) case the police bungled, and he’s entitled to compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

And she should say that.

And she should stop impugning someone who I have no doubt knows the law vastly better than she does.


  1. Indeed. The fact that she was Minister of Police during the Bain retrial means she is not a disinterested party and the Prime Minister should remove her from consideration of the Binnie report recommendations. We haven't seen such a disgraceful response to a independent judicial inquiry since Muldoon's handling of the Mahon Erebus inquiry.

  2. I expect you're right about Collins' motivation. But you're wrong about Bain's entitlement to compensation. He isn't entitled, and Cabinet is considering whether to make an exception in his case. They're fully entitled to say no if they don't think the balance of probability is in favour of Bain's innocence. Obviously they think the balance of probability isn't in his favour, they just lack the bollocks to come out and say so.

  3. I agree - whether he should receive compensation is entirely up to the cabinet. There is no requirement to compensate. But the process of decision making should be a fair one. We now have Binnie's report. Whether or not she likes it, it says what it says. If she doesn't agree with the recommendation that's fine - but it's not credible to criticise the analysis just because you don't like the result. This report should be released now.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.