Collins On BailSatire by Lyndon Hood
Judith Collins, the recently-reappointed Minister of Police and Corrections, has been accused of inappropriately
criticising a judge's decision over the electronic bail of Mathew Kidman
Her comments were made after the serial absconder removed his electronic monitoring bracelet and went on the run.
Criminal Bar Association president Tony Bouchier said Collins "has a history of criticising judges publicly as a minster
of the Crown" and was "taking a punch at someone who can't punch back".
Scoop did not speak to Collins, but Scoop can guess.
Scoop: So, Minister, you've said that it was the "wrong call" and "an unusual decision" to grant this man bail.
Scoop: Do you understand why it's important that ministers avoid criticizing judges' decisions?
Collins: I can assure you, having been a practicing lawyer I am very familiar with these issues. The justice system has to be
independent – clearly independent – from the Government. Judges have to make decision based on the all the facts – the
facts and and the law. You can’t have any person acting like they can control it on command. It's called the Rule of Law
not the Rule of The Minister of Corrections and Police.
Scoop: Yet you did criticise the judge's decision.
Collins: No, we don't do that. I just said it was wrong.
Scoop: Can you tell me in your own words what would be 'criticising'?
Collins: Well if I instructed them on religion through question and answer, that would be criticising.
Scoop: Sorry Minister, I think you're describing 'catechising'.
Collins: Or if I helped with, but not being consumed by, their chemical reaction.
Scoop: Catalysing. You would be catalysing them.
Collins: Or we would all put on our leotards and legwarmers…
Collins: …and work up a sweat using exercises based on dance moves.
Scoop: … 'jazzercising'?
Collins: And I didn't do any of those.
Scoop: Criticising is when you say something bad about a thing.
Collins: It wasn't bad – I was right.
Scoop: I mean when you say the thing is bad…
Collins: Anyway, I had a reason. You can't just have judges, of all people, acting like the rules don't apply to them.
Scoop: And you,as a minister of the Crown, get to point that out because…?
Collins: The rules don't apply to me. Besides, I'm right – I mean the man's gone on the run.
Scoop: Hindsight is always 20-20, isn't it?
Scoop: For example, it allows you to conclude that…
Collins: Everything I've done is right, yes.
Scoop: Well that's not what…
Collins: Amazing how it always works that way, isn't it?
Scoop: If I could…
Collins: We'll, we've cleared that up then. Thank you for your time.