'Justice delayed is justice denied' – Māori lawyer on current court climate

By Te Ao - Māori News

An Auckland barrister is voicing his concerns about the long-term effects the Covid lockdown is having on Ngāi Māori who have active cases within the court system.  

Mātai Chambers chief executive Quentin Duff says Auckland has six months of jury trials that have been adjourned.

“It goes back to the old adage, justice delayed is justice denied... These delays are only going to create downstream problems and timetable clashes.

“And other things like the diminishing of the effectiveness of cross-examination as people rely on their written statements, and there will be memory gaps because of the lapse of times, rather than the fact that they may have been fabricating evidence in the first place,” Duff says.

Duff has worked for law firms Chapman Tripp and Kensington Swan in commercial law and also spent some time working abroad in Hong Kong.

He gained his master in law from the University of Victoria in Wellington as an adult, and now specialises in criminal law.

Duff says one of his main goals  is to ensure none of his clients "fall through the gaps."

"We make sure they always have a live person to speak to. And for the senior lawyers, we are in trial constantly and nothing frustrates any person than trying to get a hold of someone that they can't because of trial schedule."