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Judge Stephen Coyle – Whāngai Decision

It is, as we know, unusual to see Family Court decisions in the media. While this one has its basis in a dispute between the court and the Ministry of Social Development over a Whāngai (informal adoption) case I have highlighted the authoritive statement by this judge which I am sure many will find interesting.

Judge Coyle said that attitude was concerning on several levels, and was an example of the agency showing indifference to the courts.

“If a court duly constituted by law makes a positive finding that there has been no abuse, then it is inexcusable for the executive arm of government to think it knows better than the rule of law and to ignore findings made by the court.