Where our justice system breaks down -the weakest link

In November 2014 Her Honour, Justice Helen Winkelmann, Chief High Court Judge gave an address at the New Zealand law foundation and Otago women’s lawyers society Ethel-Benjamin-Address-2014-Justice-Helen-Winkelmann.In this she traversed several topics  including “The trend to increasing numbers of unrepresented litigants”

Her honour ,refers to  No Justice Without lawyers — The Myth of an Inquisitorial Solution. from which she quotes

Since lay persons are not familiar with the substantive law and court procedure, they
have difficulty to prepare adequately and to comply with rules and court orders, with
the result that the court is forced to devote disproportionate time and effort to cases
involving [them].

This is a primary concern  as the  process for representation has evolved over  centuries, it is complex and not user friendly . There are rules within rules and lawyers know how to use them to their  advantage . But what comes out of the  speech more than anything  else is that the court relies upon the legal representation

There is also another aspect to the adversarial model which depends upon legal
representation. It is the reliance that judges place upon counsel to never knowingly mislead
the court in matters of fact or law. This duty of counsel enables the system to function
efficiently and maintains its integrity. It frees the Judge from having to conduct his or her
own inquiries to independently check the veracity of what they are told by counsel. For
counsel this duty flows from the fact that counsel are officers of the court. It is also a
manifestation of the obligation on all lawyers to uphold the rule of law, an obligation now
given statutory recognition in the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.

When analysed in this way, it becomes clear that representation for a party is central to the
Judge performing the Judge’s task.

This may be all good and well   and this would  work if lawyers   acted in accordance with the law  and especially section 4 of the lawyers and Conveyancers Act 

4 Fundamental obligations of lawyers
  • Every lawyer who provides regulated services must, in the course of his or her practice, comply with the following fundamental obligations:

    • (a) the obligation to uphold the rule of law and to facilitate the administration of justice in New Zealand:

    • (b) the obligation to be independent in providing regulated services to his or her clients:

    • (c) the obligation to act in accordance with all fiduciary duties and duties of care owed by lawyers to their clients:

    • (d) the obligation to protect, subject to his or her overriding duties as an officer of the High Court and to his or her duties under any enactment, the interests of his or her clients.

Where all this unhinges  is that  there is an assumption that lawyers   comply with  the law .

When lawyers use the law  as a weapon of destruction instead of a weapon of peace   then  the opponent is placed at a  distinct disadvantage .

Purely by the definition  given above and the assumptions of the court in  the  honesty and integrity of a lawyer place  a lay litigant at  a disadvantage. Because a lawyer simply making a statement  to the  court in an un sworn unsubstantiated manner  carries with it the  assumption that what he says is true  and he would not be saying it unless it is true.

Lawyers know   that they  can tell lies   and get away with it because their  law society is also their disciplinarian

The  conflicting roles of he law society  and lack of independence from its members  ensure that  lawyers can divert an investigation into their  conduct by  making wide sweeping claims  agaisnt  their accuser.

The standards which are enforced by the law society are not those set  out in law  but the  standards which they feel comfortable with.  Make the standards too rigid and your members will not be able to win their court actions with the  tricks they have  master over the years.

There is a back up system  though the LCRO  , this   is  set up and funded by the law society , because they fund it there are very few LCRO officers  and  lawyers have  learned that if they pay the $50 and appeal to the LCRO then the system effectively bogs down .

We are compiling a series of books which show the tricks and deceptions which lawyers use to win  court cases. each of these place  lay litigants at a disadvantage and each proves that  some lawyers have  very little or no regard for the law and that there is  almost no accountability  for them so they can get away with it .

we need to  separate the  functions of the  law society so that they do not  have both the

66 Representative functions
  • The representative functions of the New Zealand Law Society are to represent its members and to serve their interests.

and the regulatory  role.

65 Regulatory functions
  • The regulatory functions of the New Zealand Law Society are—

    • (a) to control and regulate the practice in New Zealand by barristers and by barristers and solicitors of the profession of the law:

    • (b) to uphold the fundamental obligations imposed on lawyers who provide regulated services in New Zealand:

    • (c) to monitor and enforce the provisions of this Act, and of any regulations and rules made under it, that relate to the regulation of lawyers:

    • (d) to monitor and enforce, throughout the period specified in any order made under section 390, the provisions of this Act, and of any regulations and rules made under it, that relate to the regulation of conveyancers:

    • (e) to assist and promote, for the purpose of upholding the rule of law and facilitating the administration of justice in New Zealand, the reform of the law.

It is the Ministry of Justice which administers the act,  but we do not believe that there is  any one  actually monitoring  the  manner in which the law society   administers it  obligations to the public or that of its members .

We would like  any one   who has   suffered at the hands of  any  cheating lying lawyer  to  contact us   so  that we  can include your evidence  in our research  so that other  too may learn


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