Bain report 'based on assumptions, wrong facts'

22:41, Dec 10 2012
judith collins
JUDITH COLLINS: Justice Minister.

Justice Minister Judith Collins has slated a report on David Bain's claim for compensation, saying it contained "assumptions based on incorrect facts" and a misunderstanding of New Zealand law.

The Government has been criticised for its handling of Canadian judge Ian Binnie's report, which is believed to recommend compensation.

Collins said today that she did not take the decision to have it peer-reviewed lightly.

David Bain
David Bain

Bain is seeking compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment over the 1994 killings of his parents, brother and two sisters.

Collins said she referred Justice Binnie's report to the solicitor-general because of concerns after reading it.

"My concerns are broadly that the report appeared to contain assumptions based on incorrect facts and showed a misunderstanding of New Zealand law. It lacked a robustness of reasoning used to justify its conclusions,'' she said.


"This was not a decision I made lightly, but one that was absolutely necessary. Put simply, it would not be acceptable to make a recommendation to Cabinet based on a report that would not withstand the considerable scrutiny it would attract.

"I am very disappointed this peer review is needed. I think we would all agree that a timely conclusion to this matter would be best for everyone.

''But justice must be done. A robust and proper process is the only way to ensure a certain and final conclusion to Mr Bain's claim.

"When the secretary for justice and I met with Justice Binnie in September, I made it clear to Justice Binnie there were concerns with the report he provided, and it would be peer-reviewed.

"I also advised Justice Binnie the report must remain confidential and it would be premature to release it until after Cabinet had made a decision on Mr Bain's claim.

"Since then, I have received from Justice Binnie, unsolicited, two further versions of his report.

"I will receive [former High Court judge Robert  Fisher's] peer review in the next day or so, which will be forwarded to Justice Binnie for his comment. When I hear back from Justice Binnie, I will take a recommendation to Cabinet on the next steps."

The review would not have an impact on Bain's claim other than to delay it, Collins said.