A report by a senior Canadian judge on David Bain's claim
for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment
contained assumptions based on incorrect facts and a
misunderstanding of New Zealand law, Justice Minister Judith
Ms Collins said she was concerned by some aspects of Justice
Ian Binnie's report and after advice from the
Solicitor-General decided it should be reviewed.
Ms Collins said she made it clear to Justice Binnie in
September that there were concerns with his report and it
would be peer reviewed.
She said the report contained assumptions based on incorrect
facts, showed a misunderstanding of New Zealand law and
lacked a robustness of reasoning used to justify its
She said the decision had not been made lightly and she was
disappointed a peer review was needed, but was "absolutely
"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 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."
The reviewed report would be received this week and forwarded
to Justice Binnie for comment.
"When I hear back from Justice Binnie, I will take a
recommendation to Cabinet on the next steps," said Ms
In September, the Herald revealed that Justice Binnie had
delivered a confidential report to the Government concluding
that on the balance of probabilities, Mr Bain was innocent of
the 1994 murder of his parents, brother and two sisters and
should be compensated for time in jail.
Former All Black Joe Karam campaigned for Mr Bain, including
taking a case to the Privy Council, which quashed his
convictions in 2007 and ordered a retrial. Mr Bain was
acquitted after a retrial in 2009.
The Cabinet has no obligation to follow the compensation
recommendation. But if it does, the payout could be at least
$2m, based on previous cases.