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Bain compo claim poses problems

Thursday 24 Jan 2013 9:44 a.m.

David Bain and Justice Minister Judith Collin

David Bain and Justice Minister Judith Collin

The Government is facing the prospect of having to commission another report on David Bain's compensation claim and a law professor says it's going to have a problem finding someone to do it.

Justice Minister Judith Collins scrapped the $400,000 report written by former Canadian judge Ian Binnie and told the Cabinet on Wednesday she didn't have any immediate plans for the next move.

Mr Binnie's report, which recommended compensation, was reviewed by local lawyer Robert Fisher QC who concluded it contained serious flaws.

Prime Minister John Key says the Government will "most probably" need another report before the Cabinet decides on whether Mr Bain should be compensated for wrongful conviction and 13 years in jail.

Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis says it will be difficult to find anyone in New Zealand and he doesn't think overseas judges would want the job.

"The New Zealand justice system has been kicking the David Bain case around for so long everyone has a stake in the game or some sort of opinion," he said on Radio New Zealand on Thursday.

"And any overseas judge is going to look at what happened to Binnie and think `I'm not going to touch that with a barge pole'."

Prof Geddis says the Government could appoint a panel, a suggestion also made by former Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

Ms Collins is considering her options and will report to Cabinet at its next meeting on February 4.

Mr Bain spent 13 years in prison after being convicted in 1995 of killing his father, mother, brother and two sisters at their Dunedin home.

The Privy Council quashed the convictions in 2007 and in 2009 Mr Bain was acquitted at a retrial.

NZN

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