Law Society concerned over Earthquake Act

10:46 am on 30 September 2010

The Law Society has added its voice to concerns about the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act.

The Act, passed unanimously by Parliament on 14 September, allows Government ministers to make exemptions to, or suspend, almost every law on the statute books in order to help speed up the rebuilding process.

Law Society President Jonathem Temm says the quake was an exceptional and devastating event, which justified emergency legislation.

But he says the Act allows exemptions to nearly every statute and that is a concern, even if the provisions are never used.

He says the Act also makes it difficult or impossible for anyone to obtain a judicial ruling on whether its powers have been used appropriately.

The Canterbury earthquake was magnitude 7.1. It occurred at 4.35am on 4 September.