Good that there is progress on the Bill Wilson case. When you sit on the Supreme Court there must be no questions of integrity.
But who is investigating the Attorney General who failed to declare his relationship with Wilson. This is from an old Herald story.
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson also counts Wilson as a friend.
Finlayson and Wilson were partners at the same time in law firm Bell Gully until the judge left in 1996 to become a Queen’s Counsel.
In a statement provided to the Herald in December, the Attorney-General said his relationship with the judge was professional.
He has since added that he considers Wilson a friend although he has not been a guest at the judge’s home in the past five years.
Finlayson acted as the public intervener early in court hearings about whether the relationship between the judge and Galbraith could amount to the reasonable perception of possible bias.
As public intervener, a submission is filed, in the public interest.
It is made in the name of the Attorney-General but written by Crown Law and signed by the Solicitor-General, David Collins, QC.
At that early stage Collins wrote that Wilson’s version of disputed facts should be accepted.
He also said that on the facts then available there was no reason why the judge should have withdrawn from the case.
However, the submission was not updated to reflect relevant information Collins and Finlayson were sent in late July or early August – four months before the Supreme Court’s final ruling which determined that there was a reasonable perception of possible bias.
That information, which included that the judge was substantially in debt to the lawyer who had been pressing him for payment, came from respected retired appellate judge Sir Edmund (Ted) Thomas who copied to Collins and Finlayson a letter and notes he sent to the Chief Justice.