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  Reply # 1078048 1-Jul-2014 16:19
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KiwiNZ: I am not sure if there is already, but if not there should be greater flexibility for those that are self employed. In many cases their income cannot continue if they take time out to serve unlike wage and salary earners. The Justice department can only apply flexibility afforded them by legislation or approved policy.
Changes would probably have to be made in Parliament.


The only flexibility is to defer it to later.  Unfortunately for most self-employed "later" is too far in the future to predict so the flexibility is effectively useless to them.

The politicians seem to have missed the "don't work, don't get paid" nature of self-employement.

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  Reply # 1078070 1-Jul-2014 16:58
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surfisup1000: "Honestly, I have not gone through and read all of the pages of posts ..."

You are the OP and you are jumping in here and there to respond without having read all the posts?

For that reason, I'm out - despite having been sympathetic initially.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1078117 1-Jul-2014 17:55
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surfisup1000:
Self-employed people don't stay that way very long if they behave how you describe. 

Honestly, I have not gone through and read all of the pages of posts but on reading your vitriol I will not bother. 

You're getting nasty & personal. People make generalisations all of the time. Get over it and stop seeking personal offence.  


You have a nasty and constant tendency of believing that your word is the Final Word on everything. Do you seriously believe that no self-employed people behave poorly, are lazy, or let others down with their work ethic? I doubt it. In which case, why go around being nasty and attacking the MoJ staff in ways that are belittling and absolutely unnecessary - is being self-employed really so special in your eyes?

And I am not getting nasty and personal, nor do I intend to take personal offence towards the attitude of an obviously self-important, pompous, and hypocritical idiot, which your own words give reasonable people no other option but to so conclude. What you aren't free to expect, subject to the moderators and admins here believing otherwise, is that you will escape legitimate criticism for your own unreasonable attitudes and behaviour.

You think it's okay to get nasty and attack others for merely not letting you have things your way (i.e. not granting you your exemption) and get all offended when people point out the obvious about your comments being nasty and personal? Consistency, please.



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  Reply # 1078136 1-Jul-2014 18:33
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How about a sense of proportion too? The OP isn't in front of a jury yet.

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  Reply # 1078140 1-Jul-2014 18:45
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Maybe I am strange but I can't see any disproportionate behaviour to which the OP has been subject. People have just been pointing out obvious things like maybe the MoJ staff just wanted more information in view of how many times the OP has previously sought and obtained exemptions and, latterly, how unattractive and unwarranted some of the OP's conspiracy theories and belittling of the MoJ staff concerned is.

This is, after all, a discussion board. It's not just for the OP to take free digs at people.





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  Reply # 1078169 1-Jul-2014 19:13
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dejadeadnz: Maybe I am strange but I can't see any disproportionate behaviour to which the OP has been subject. People have just been pointing out obvious things like maybe the MoJ staff just wanted more information in view of how many times the OP has previously sought and obtained exemptions and, latterly, how unattractive and unwarranted some of the OP's conspiracy theories and belittling of the MoJ staff concerned is.

This is, after all, a discussion board. It's not just for the OP to take free digs at people.



You have the final response, I guess we just have to agree to disagree. 

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  Reply # 1078199 1-Jul-2014 20:22
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KiwiNZ: 

My response was to this  "Nope, not at all.  If the Australian government can afford to pay average daily wage to jurors, then so can the NZ government. " which was an answer to my question "KiwiNZ: To those who have posted that you feel the payment for Jury service is too low are you willing to pay increased taxes to fund such an increase?" It was reasonable and applicable to  respond that this is not Australia.

 I am not opposed to increase Jury fees but these will need to be funded from somewhere either by increased taxes or funding cuts elsewhere. Kyanar appears to not want to contribute to the system at all. With that attitude the rest of NZ will have to do continue to do more for less.


No, that's not reasonable or applicable.  Nowhere did I say that this was Australia.  I was pointing out that another country with a similar economy and roughly the same expense profile can somehow afford to pay jurors an appropriate amount without resorting to raising taxes, so why does our government need to raise taxes to do it?

Frankly, I can't be bothered responding thoughtfully to you if all you will do is misinterpret what I say and then attack your newfound misinterpretation.  It's not worth the effort.

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  Reply # 1078208 1-Jul-2014 20:42
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Kyanar:
KiwiNZ: 

My response was to this  "Nope, not at all.  If the Australian government can afford to pay average daily wage to jurors, then so can the NZ government. " which was an answer to my question "KiwiNZ: To those who have posted that you feel the payment for Jury service is too low are you willing to pay increased taxes to fund such an increase?" It was reasonable and applicable to  respond that this is not Australia.

 I am not opposed to increase Jury fees but these will need to be funded from somewhere either by increased taxes or funding cuts elsewhere. Kyanar appears to not want to contribute to the system at all. With that attitude the rest of NZ will have to do continue to do more for less.


No, that's not reasonable or applicable.  Nowhere did I say that this was Australia.  I was pointing out that another country with a similar economy and roughly the same expense profile can somehow afford to pay jurors an appropriate amount without resorting to raising taxes, so why does our government need to raise taxes to do it?

Frankly, I can't be bothered responding thoughtfully to you if all you will do is misinterpret what I say and then attack your newfound misinterpretation.  It's not worth the effort.


You are not comparing to a country with a similar economy, Australia's GDP per capita is approximately twice that of NZ




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 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1078244 1-Jul-2014 21:18
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GDP in and of itself surely isn't the sole determining factor of whether the proposed policy is affordable without a tax increase or should be implemented. If you can't afford to properly compensate jurors then it's all the more important that the instances of jury trials be reduced, in order to reduce the instances of idiotic/"the last remaining ones who somehow couldn't manufacture any excuse" jurors "polluting" trials. Since we are supposedly on track for a surplus in the 2015 financial year and the NZ economy is supposedly doing well, I would say if this country is serious about giving accused persons a fair trial, it's important to do everything possible to ensure that jurors focus on the task at hand and this includes getting rid of their financial pressures/concerns.



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  Reply # 1078250 1-Jul-2014 21:23
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It's not always due to self importance when people don't want to be away from their jobs. A lot of people are in a position where they have no one to back them up if they're away and you can argue all you like that the employer should do more to manage that risk, but the reality is that it's often the employee who has to deal with the mess when they eventually return to work.

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  Reply # 1078253 1-Jul-2014 21:24
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dejadeadnz: GDP in and of itself surely isn't the sole determining factor of whether the proposed policy is affordable without a tax increase or should be implemented. If you can't afford to properly compensate jurors then it's all the more important that the instances of jury trials be reduced, in order to reduce the instances of idiotic/"the last remaining ones who somehow couldn't manufacture any excuse" jurors "polluting" trials. Since we are supposedly on track for a surplus in the 2015 financial year and the NZ economy is supposedly doing well, I would say if this country is serious about giving accused persons a fair trial, it's important to do everything possible to ensure that jurors focus on the task at hand and this includes getting rid of their financial pressures/concerns.




I agree with reducing the number of jury trials. Correct me please if I am wrong but I believe that Jury trials are used in complicated fraud and corporate trials, that is one area where trial by a panel of Judges would be more appropriate.




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1078278 1-Jul-2014 21:40
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KiwiNZ
I agree with reducing the number of jury trials. Correct me please if I am wrong but I believe that Jury trials are used in complicated fraud and corporate trials, that is one area where trial by a panel of Judges would be more appropriate.


The law on whether you get to have a jury trial goes approximately like this:

(1) Certain crimes that are punishable by maximum term of imprisonment of less than X number of months/defined as category 1 and 2 offences under the Criminal Procedure Act (the old threshold used to be 3 months - this has been increased by the National government to reduce the instances of jury trials), you are simply not entitled to elect jury trials and are tried judge-alone.

(2) Crimes that are over the threshold stated at (1) but aren't classed under (3) here, the defendant can elect to be tried judge-alone or by jury.

(3) Certain crimes are explicitly stated by statute to be jury trials, e.g. manslaughter and murder.


However, there's a wrinkle to (2) and (3) - the judge or the prosecutor can make an application to the judge for what is usually a jury-only crime to be tried judge alone in cases where it will likely take too long or is too complex for a jury or where there's a possibility of juror intimidation going on. In many cases, white collar crimes will fall under (2) and  there have been instances where judges have made orders for these cases to be heard judge-alone.





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  Reply # 1078292 1-Jul-2014 21:50
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dejadeadnz:
KiwiNZ
I agree with reducing the number of jury trials. Correct me please if I am wrong but I believe that Jury trials are used in complicated fraud and corporate trials, that is one area where trial by a panel of Judges would be more appropriate.


The law on whether you get to have a jury trial goes approximately like this:

(1) Certain crimes that are punishable by maximum term of imprisonment of less than X number of months/defined as category 1 and 2 offences under the Criminal Procedure Act (the old threshold used to be 3 months - this has been increased by the National government to reduce the instances of jury trials), you are simply not entitled to elect jury trials and are tried judge-alone.

(2) Crimes that are over the threshold stated at (1) but aren't classed under (3) here, the defendant can elect to be tried judge-alone or by jury.

(3) Certain crimes are explicitly stated by statute to be jury trials, e.g. manslaughter and murder.


However, there's a wrinkle to (2) and (3) - the judge or the prosecutor can make an application to the judge for what is usually a jury-only crime to be tried judge alone in cases where it will likely take too long or is too complex for a jury or where there's a possibility of juror intimidation going on. In many cases, white collar crimes will fall under (2) and  there have been instances where judges have made orders for these cases to be heard judge-alone.






In your professional opinion how much scope do you believe there is to reduce the number of Jury trials without endangering rights?




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1078332 1-Jul-2014 22:40
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I really have to be careful about answering this, since I am truly not capable of having a 100% objective/neutral opinion when it comes to jury trials. For a bit of background, I've actively participated in two myself (both were regulatory/white collar type offences) and advised the judges on a lot more over a period of 3 years. In the two that I took part prosecuting, the jury completely acquitted on one (rightly IMO - evidence looked really great to us on an objective assessment before trial but witnesses fell apart during evidence and also the accused's explanations were at least plausible) and partially acquitted (the verdicts were totally illogical - the stuff they should have convicted on they acquitted; the stuff they should have acquitted on they convicted - the whole trial had to be redone as the appeal court ruled the verdicts to be logically implausible). What happened in the second case and what I experienced whilst advising the judges leave me with a very strong view that we should give up on jury trials altogether.

As you can see, I've been on two sides of the justice fence but have not done defence work to any great degree (did in my student days). I no longer have a thing to do with the criminal law and don't wish to - so I think my opinions can be taken as one from a guy without any particular axe to grind. Most defence lawyers are totally in favour of jury trials because, in my opinion, conviction rates will undoubtedly go up with judge-alone trials, since the BS/emotive defences just won't work on the judges. But this isn't why I am not in favour of jury trials.

I am not in favour of jury trials not because I want to see more people convicted but, rather, I want to see the system becoming more efficient and verdicts reached for the right reasons. It's really, really hard for people who haven't been in my shoes to understand how having the jury around slows everything down. Contrary to popular belief, even highly experienced trial lawyers are not usually (let alone always) brilliant orators who can control and master every word and never mis-speak. But I am not kidding you when I say that in some instances uttering a few words that are seen as too emotive/unfairly prejudicial to the accused or accidentally traversing evidence of certain people whose evidence has been excluded can derail a trial that has otherwise gone perfectly for two weeks and is about to conclude. I've seen this with my own eyes whilst working for the judges.

And because your Average Joe/Jo often lack familiarity with simple legal concepts, what would take 5 minutes to get across to a judge might take 50 minutes, plus more legal arguments at sum up stage on whether the judge has summed up the prosecution and defence's position on the issues adequately. THINGS. JUST. MOVE. REALLY. SLOWLY. AT. JURY. TRIALS.

If you're doing things only in front of judges and put up some "dodgy" evidence by accident (this does happen and both sides can make that mistake), the judge(s) in their written reason show that they've disregarded that stuff and how they can reach a guilty or not guilty verdict regardless of that evidence. Jurors don't have to give reasons and your only protection/check-and-balance is the Court of Appeal trying to read what might be inside the head of the jurors on appeal, rather than having actual articulated reasons to go with.

If we must have jury trials, I'd say they should be reserved only to cases where consideration of community-based standards is relevant to the charge, e.g. cases where the defendant might raise a self-defence argument saying that the force they used was reasonable in the circumstances. I certainly would, if given such powers as some benevolent dictator, exclude juries from cases involving complex financial and technical evidence and cases where undue prejudice/favouritism both ways towards either the prosecution or defence is likely. For example, in places like Tauranga, police officers who are accused of crimes whilst on duty always elect jury trials because they pretty much know that jurors will blindly favour the cops. There was a totally outrageous case a few years back where some cop/a couple of cops were pepper spraying a guy with mental illness when he was safely confined behind the cells. The jury acquitted the cops and the police later paid out compensation in a civil suit.

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  Reply # 1078340 1-Jul-2014 22:51
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Oh and to contextualise the debate somewhat, I encourage people to have a read of this.

It's the decision by Justice Wild at the High Court to convict John Banks of the electoral charge. You don't have to read it word for word, nor do you need to understand all the legal concepts, to know that he went through a process of reasoning and consideration that is well and truly beyond the intellect, patience, and capabilities of your average Joe/Jo on the jury, even assuming that they are discharging their duties honestly and to the best of their abilities.

I'll readily admit that not every court judgment is this good but it should give people some idea.



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