19 Jul 2012

Judge 'did the right thing' by recusal

11:14 pm on 19 July 2012

Legal experts say Judge David Harvey did the right thing in stepping down from hearing the Kim Dotcom extradition case, after making a quip about the United States being 'the enemy'.

Mr Dotcom, the founder of the file-sharing website Megaupload, is accused of internet piracy by the United States.

Judge Harvey suggested the United States was the 'enemy' in a play on the line 'we have met the enemy and he is us' while talking about copyright laws at a conference last week.

On Wednesday he withdrew from the Dotcom case.

Lawyer Grant Illingworth QC says the comments might worry the Americans and Judge Harvey has done the right thing by stepping down.

Law Society president Jonathan Temm agrees the judge has acted in the best interests of the court.

Decision 'tragic' but understandable - professor

An academic says Judge Harvey's decision to step aside after making a quip is tragic.

Professor Bill Hodge, of Auckland University's law school, says he is filled with regret that Judge Harvey stepped down but says he understands that justice must be seen to be done.

He says Judge Harvey is a top judge and very experienced in copyright law.