Jurisprudence should hammer down perjury

Editorial Two

Issue 386 February 15, 2018

Twelve years ago, high profile Criminologist and Canterbury University Professor of Associate Philosophy Greg Newbold told a Seminar in Auckland that there should be tougher penalties for perjury to reduce miscarriages of justice.

“On many occasions, the judiciary did not take perjury or evidence-tampering seriously enough,” he told delegates at the Seminar organised by the Legal Research Foundation to discuss a report by retired High Court Judge Sir Thomas Thorp.

Sir Thomas, who made a two-year study of the topic, advocated that an adequately-resourced independent authority with an investigative capacity be set up to look into claims of miscarriages, which he believes are under-estimated.

The extent of lies

As we studied the front-page report of this issue, we were struck by the extent to which evidence could be fabricated and lies could be told in a court of law while under oath. We were also awed that the two women, who the Judge found to have wrongly and willfully brought discredit and dishonour to their former employer have not been prosecuted.

The Verdict

In his verdict, the Judge wrote that he confronted one of the complainants with the fact that the defendant had proved that he was not in the country on the date on which the defendant was accused of having made sexual advances.

“When confronted with that complaint, she accepted that she was mistaken. I have got to say that she appeared to brush off her mistake as inconsequential and frankly I find that unconvincing. That this demonstrated lack of reliability on the complainant’s part as to a significant aspect of her evidence is something I do take into account.”

Indian Newslink will report further on this issue with legal opinions.

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