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Trust Winkelmann: the judge-alone judge


It comes as no surprise that the leaders of almost all parliamentary parties are listed from positions 90 to 100 in the list of NZ's most trusted people. John Key, Phil Goff, Jim Anderton, Winston Peters, Pita Sharples, Tariana Turia and Hone Harawira all hover around at the bottom of the heap.

The survey, commissioned by Reader's Digest, asked 531 people to rank 100 well known people on a scaled of one to ten.

Scientists are leading the list. However, at number four comes Justice Helen Winkelmann, Chief High Court Judge, and of course also behind various controversial pre-trial rulings in the 'Operation 8' fiasco. Winkelmann ruled in favour of a judge-alone trial for 15 of the 18 defendants in the case. There is a further - suppressed - ruling on evidence that makes 'interesting' reading. How can you trust someone who prefers to get rid of jury trials for defendants?

While she is the highest ranking High Court judge, her media profile is fairly minor. The questio is then, why people trust someone, they potentially have never heard of? It would be interesting to know how the names are read during the survey. My guess is that the names come with the description behind them (for Winkelmann "Chief High Court Judge") which makes all the difference. If the description had been "High Court Judge who denies people their right to a jury trial" she might well have joined Key and Goff down the bottom.

On another note, it's nice to see Peter Jackson fall from 6th to 74th place. Not sure if this is really about 'trust' or simply a realisation that Jackson's anti-worker stance last year was capitalist greed par excellence.


Oh, really?

Why should be trust a Reader's Digest survey?

Was it accurate, double blind, margin of error?

Who was polled - an accurate subsample?

Where the questions leading?

How many people will have heard of Winkelbottom without being prompted?

Are we being 'massaged' for something?

Fucking mindgames, you fucking useless dipshit whores.

^ U mad phaggot?

^ U mad phaggot?

Anonymous I enjoyed this

Anonymous I enjoyed this piece more then anything I read in the herald yesterday - why do those people get paid?


Winkleman jails everyone that

Winkleman jails everyone that could possibly vote against her. Winkleman and ilk keeps them prisons packed with 'fresh souls'.

This whole judge alone

This whole judge alone business was decided well before the application was made, and not by anyone within the judiciary. The idea came out of discussions between politicians and crown law, which then went to key individuals within the judiciary to make sure it happened. There's no such thing as the separation of powers in this country - we're just too small. Everyone knows everyone and decisions of the courts are made on that basis. Of course, the executive don't intervene in every case - generally the courts do operate in a way that at least appears to be independent, albeit on the basis of who knows who, but when the executive thinks a case is important enough it will intervene to order the courts to deliver "the right result". This jury trial issue was regarded as "big enough", so Winkelmann, bless her wee soul, was simply following orders.