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Its been a busy week for Justice Warwick Gendall
Four days after being named by Attorney-General Chris Finlayson as the new head of the parole board, Judge Warwick Gendall has been named in the Queens birthday list for his services to the state and sport. The commendation from the Queen appropriately refers to Judge Gendall's award being made for services to the state rather than to the law.
Likewise, Mr Finlayson's recent appointment of former solicitor General David Collins to the High Court, Warwick Gendall's award is sent be many commentators as a reward for for his willingness to pervert the law on behalf of the Crown.
Judge Gendall has attracted criticism after refusing to order disclosure of documents relating to fraud by an attorney against an elderly person with senile dementia. Chris Finlayson seems to approve of a culture of rampant protectionism for the status quo and state secrecy. He obviously accepts Mr Collin's policy of retribution for any lawyer seeking to expose State misconduct, as was seen in the dismissal of Saxmere counsel Sue Grey from the Department of Conservation for exposing misconduct by former Supreme Court Justice Bill Wilson.
Mr Finlayson subsequently sought to defend Justice Wilson - who was Finlayson's former law partner - after it became public that Justice Wilson ruled in matters involving undisclosed conflicts of interest for his bank and then his business partner. Justice Collins filed a 100 page submission to, and sought to personally appear before, the Supreme Court in support of Wilson. As his appointment was announced, an example of the culture Justice Collins created was playing out in the Wellington High Court, where his Deputy Matthew Palmer was being civilly prosecuted for misfeasance in public office for targeting former Inland Revenue solicitor Lysette Du Claire because she did not fully carry out his instructions to conceal discovery and legal advice Crown Law gave the IRD in 2009. As Solicitor General, Justice Collins was caught on three occasions filing materially false briefs in court.
In one such 2006 case (M v Hunt), Justice John Wild suppressed the handwritten evidence of Justice Collins' criminal conduct which would have landed a lesser lawyer in prison. Gendall & Collins's recent elevevations follow other political appointees of the Hon Chris Finlayson- John McGrath, Terrence Arnold and Ellen France