Delegates from throughout the land attending this weekend’s conference of Royal Federation of Justices Associations have had several thought-provoking addresses.
Jonathan Temm, QC, in his speech titled “"Looking to Justices of the Peace for Leadership in the Community" reviewed present issues in the justice system and was critical of it.
He contends it’s a legal system rather than a justice system which he says is ineffective, ineffectual, under-funded and misunderstood. He concludes it’s a tyranny of the majority. Prisons, he opines, are not working.
He told Justices there needs to be progress in our liberal democracy, an investment in people with a focus on education and information.
“Concentrate on the matters that unite us rather than those that divide” he implored, “promoting unity and community”.
Chief District Court Judge, Jan-Marie Doogue, who oversees New Zealand’s 176 district court judges, also addressed the conference.
She told delegates that recent international research shows that the No 1 characteristic for those in judicial roles was humility and a sense of public service.
“In my estimation,” she said, “this definitely applies to Justices of the Peace”.
Her theme was "Adapting to Change in the Justice System" and spoke about some upcoming changes this year, concluding that there's room for more leadership, compassion and community.