8 May 2010

Call for Supreme Court judge to stand aside

5:35 pm on 8 May 2010

A law academic says a Supreme Court judge who could face a conduct hearing should stand aside while he is investigated.

The Judicial Conduct Commissioner has recommended that Justice Bill Wilson face a formal Conduct Panel.

The matter concerns whether Justice Wilson should have sat on a case as a Court of Appeal judge, in which a business partner in a race horse venture, was a lawyer for one of the parties.

Justice Wilson did not disclose that he owed the lawyer $250,000 until after an initial Supreme Court hearing on the matter.

Auckland University Associate Law Professor Bill Hodge says Justice Wilson should voluntarily stand aside until the investigation is complete.

The Government will now consider whether a judicial conduct panel should investigate the complaint, which may warrant Justice Wilson's removal from the Supreme Court.