Is the New Zealand legal system fundamentally flawed?

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Press release: NZDSOS

New Zealand Doctors Speaking Out with Science (NZDSOS) have reviewed the High Court ruling of Justice Francis Cooke in their recent case challenging the vaccine mandates for health and education workers and are shocked at the machinations of the legal system.

NZDSOS spokesperson Dr Alison Goodwin has carefully reviewed documentation from the court case and concluded that, “effectively, large portions of scientific evidence were ignored and not responded to, and evidence of significant harm to New Zealanders was glossed over, and it is hard to reconcile comments such as those below with the stance the judge has taken dismissing our claims”.

NZDSOS along with New Zealand Teachers Speaking Out with Science (NZTSOS) brought this case to the court on behalf of a large number of healthcare and education workers, as well as the people of NZ,who may not realise what is at stake.

It is clearly stated in the Bill of Rights Act 1992, that New Zealanders have the ‘right to decline medical treatment’. If this is not absolute, then the question must be asked; who gets to determine what is a ‘reasonable and demonstrably justified’ limitation and can that be challenged?

NZDSOS provided 4 international expert witnesses, Associate Professor Byram Bridle (Canada), Dr Geoff Cramp (NZ), Professor Nikolai Petrovsky (Australia) and Professor Norman Fenton (UK) specialising in areas of immunology, virology, vaccine development and risk information management. 

Meanwhile, the Crown relied only on written evidence from Dr Ian Town and Dr Ashley Bloomfield (both employees of the NZ Government). The Crown did not put forward any evidence from experts in vaccine development, immunology, epidemiology, clinical medicine or any other relevant area.

In his ruling, the judge wrote statements such as:

  • many of the opinions expressed by the applicant’s experts were not responded to”
  •  “he had two sets of expert evidence, effectively in parallel”
  • “the court was unable to make findings on some of the more technical aspects”
  • “there was no long-term safety data”
  • if there are other more rights-compliant ways of achieving the outcome, a measure may not be justified.” 

If there is such a level of uncertainty or inability to assess the evidence, surely the limitation of the right (to decline medical treatment) is not reasonable and has not been demonstrably justified. “We were of course extremely disappointed on behalf of all health workers and teachers, in fact of all mandated workers and coerced people.

The New Zealand public need to question whether justice is being done within our legal system, said Dr. Goodwin. NZDSOS remains steadfast that where there is a risk of harm, there must be choice. Otherwise, there must be a discussion of how much harm or collateral damage we, as a society, are willing to accept”. 

To learn more about our perceptions of the failing of the court system, see this short summary or the full detailed version.

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