11 Nov 2010

Law Society concerned ministers getting too much power

11:16 am on 11 November 2010

The Attorney-General is dismissing claims by the Law Society that the Government is giving individual ministers too much power.

The society says the Government is breaking the rule of law too often by not giving Parliament or the judiciary a say in law-making and it is a worrying trend.

It cites three instances of concern: the special powers around the Canterbury earthquake, the dismissal of the Canterbury regional council and the powers given to the Rugby World Cup minister.

Law Society president Jonathan Temm told Nine to Noon on Thursday that without the usual checks and balances provided by Parliament and the judiciary, there is a real risk of abuse of power.

Mr Temm says with the Rugby World Cup Minister being given absolute power to make decisions relating next year's tournament, now is the time for concern.

But Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says there is not a trend - just three exceptional circumstances.

Urgent legislation was required for the Canterbury quake as a stop-gap measure and the Government does intend to review it soon, he says.