1 Dec 2014

Child sex extradition case in court

1:56 pm on 1 December 2014

The judicial review of a decision to extradite a former Catholic brother has been told he will get a fair trial if he is sent back to Australia.

Former Justice Minister Judith Collins this year ruled that Bernard Kevin McGrath would be surrendered to Australian authorities to face 252 charges relating to historical child sex offences.

At the High Court in Christchurch, his lawyer argued that Ms Collins breached natural justice by not giving enough consideration to his client's access to legal aid, as well as financial and emotional support if he was sent back to Australia.

Mr McGrath's lawyer, Phillip Allan, told Justice Mander that the Minister did not seek assurances from the Australian authorities that his client would receive the same access to legal aid as he did in New Zealand.

He said the access to legal aid was an issue of natural justice.

Mr Allan said Bernard McGrath was not receiving any financial support from the Catholic Church any more, and relied on his superannuation.

But the Crown lawyer, Mark Lillico, told Justice Cameron Mander there was a high degree of probity between the two countries that the Minister could not simply cut across.

He said Parliament had decided to trust in the Australians to get it right.