Finlayson: Law Society complaints misguided

  • 26/08/2015
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson (Simon Wong)
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson (Simon Wong)

The Law Society is wrong in its complaints about a section of the Government's proposed new health and safety laws, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says.

The Law Society claimed there had been a last-minute addition to the legislation, which would allow closed court proceedings where national security is involved.

"The provisions will allow a person to be tried and convicted of a criminal offence without seeing all the information relied on by the Crown, and without the right to be present during all the proceedings," society president Chris Moore said in a statement.

"This is inconsistent with the fundamental right to a fair trial."

But Mr Finlayson says that's not the case.

"The Law Society appears to have been commenting on an old version of the bill and to have ignored, or simply missed, Supplementary Order Paper 108 which amended Schedule 2A seven days before their press release," he said.

"The Law Society plays an important role in contributing to the quality of legislation passed by Parliament.

"But in order for Parliament to benefit from that contribution, accuracy really is paramount, especially when the Law Society chooses to comment on legislation via press release."