David Bain (centre) was the subject of a flurry of emails
between Justice Minister Judith Collins and Justice Binnie.
The retired Canadian judge appointed to assess David
Bain's compensation claim, noted the Justice Minister had
''strong views on this case'', released emails reveal.
Emails between parties involved in the compensation bid have
been released by the office of Judith Collins following an
Official Information Act request.
Those emails include an exchange involving retired judge of
the Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie and the
In a flurry of emails late last year, Justice Binnie rejected
a suggestion that the minister had raised the prospect of his
report being peer reviewed.
''I do not recall any mention made at my meeting with the
minister about `peer review'.''
Later in the same email he wrote, ''I appreciated that the
minister has strong views on the case but I suggest that if a
modicum of good will is to be shown it would be best shown on
This email came after the prime minister announced that
Justice Binnie's report would be the subject of a peer
Ms Collins' predecessor, Simon Power, commissioned the
initial report after Mr Bain claimed compensation in 2010.
However, Ms Collins publicly criticised the report, saying it
needed to be peer reviewed by New Zealand QC and former High
Court judge Robert Fisher.
''It lacked a robustness of reasoning used to justify its
conclusions,'' she said in December.
Late last month, long-time Bain advocate, Joe Karam confirmed
Mr Bain had filed a claim in the High Court at Auckland
seeking a judicial review of the actions of the Justice
Minister. The claim concerns her actions after she received
the report from Justice Binnie, who found that on the balance
of probabilities Mr Bain was innocent, and the process behind
the report from Robert Fisher QC. Justice Binnie's claim he
did not recall any mention of his report being peer reviewed
during his meeting with the minister was rejected.
Ms Collins' office replied ''she considered you had gone
beyond the terms of your instructions and that she intended
to have your advice peer reviewed.
''The minister does not wish to make an issue of this point,
it is of more importance to move forward with consideration
of Mr Bain's application as swiftly as possible.''
Both Mr Karam and Ms Collins declined to comment to the
Otago Daily Times on the released emails, as the
matter was before the court.