12 Nov 2010

MPs to debate interests register for judges

8:10 am on 12 November 2010

MPs are set to debate whether a pecuniary interests register should be set up for judges

Green MP Kennedy Graham, whose member's bill has been drawn from the ballot, says he was motivated by the controversy that arose over Justice Bill Wilson.

Justice Wilson stepped down from the bench after an investigation was initiated for alleged misconduct relating to conflicts of interest.

Dr Graham says his bill is intended to promote greater transparency within the judicial system and help judges to avoid any conflict of interest in their role.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says he will consider the member's bill, but the matter may be better dealt with as part of a review of the Judicature Act, which is currently underway.

The Labour Party says it is likely to support the bill, though shadow Attorney-General David Parker says there's a balance to be struck between transparency and right to privacy, and there may be a better alternative such as a better set of rules.