Monday message board

As usual on Monday, you are invited to post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

Sticking with a seasonal theme, I’ll start by asking for thoughts on the occasion of the winter solstice tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday, I’m never sure on this). Also, tomorrow is a significant date in another way, and the first to pick it will get a valuable free acknowledgement in the relevant post.

28 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. Change of Topic – And you guys think Australia has problems:

    “ECONOMICS; NZ Q1 current account deficit at 7% of GDP

    NZ’s Q1 current account deficit blew out to 7.0% of GDP, up from 6.4% in Q4, beating both our and the consensus forecast of 6.7%.

    The deterioration in current account deficit was led by a widening trade deficit and also a widening investment income deficit. Ongoing strong domestic economic performance has been fuelling corporate profits and this is reflected in the current account as repatriation of dividends.

    The widening current account deficit is indicative of imbalances facing the NZ economy. Ongoing income outflow and a large trade deficit will likely push the current account further into deficit.

    In our opinion, offshore investors will look at the 7% current account deficit as a stark reminder of NZ’s worsening imbalances in the economy. Possible flow on impact on risk perception has the potential to degrade the attractiveness of the NZD.” (Source: GoldmanSachsJBWere)

    I suggets the buggers start digging up all that coal they got tucked away them thar hills. That’ll fix the problem quick smart.

  2. It is generically unsound to have such blanket immunities. It may well be that the use of this, rather than anything else, confirms that this person did indeed act against natural justice and in her turn got poetic justice. Those who live by the pen perishing by the pen, and so on.

    Or did I miss something? Did she use anything other than a get out of jail free card? Was there any right on her side that came out in court? As opposed to “the law says it’s OK”, that is.

  3. PML, there are many such ‘blanket immunities’ and there are sound reasons for their existence. Such immunities mean that a public official can do a public job without fear of personal liability and possible punishment. Similar immunities are provided for most public servants at the State and Commonwealth level (which makes it all the more curious that no one pointed to the immunity before the case got to the High Court).

    However, you are wrong to describe the immunity as having ‘blanket’ coverage. A careful reading of the statute shows that it is an immunity for acts done in the administration of the position of Chief Magistrate. Fingleton’s job was to post Magistrates to courts around Queensland – it might have been a poorly worded email, but it was about postings nonetheless.

    I think there are interesting analogies between the immunity in the Fingleton case, and the idea of limited liability companies. A director is not generally liable for the actions of a company unless the actions are outside the ambit of the company’s operations. Would you condemn these as well? Would you lift the corporate veil so to speak?

    As to the presence of a right on her side, well there’s no such immunity in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, I’ll admit that. But there are rights to protect people from false imprisonment and arbitrary detention (although the federal government ignores these). Ultimately the question is whether Fingleton should have been jailed for six months for writing an unfriendly email. And, should she have been jailed when there was a law passed by parliament which protected her?

    Read the case. Not one of the High Court judges saw anything in the case that was fair. Every judgment states that the matter should never have gone to trial. It’s no activist court these days… the fundamental point is that Fingleton was jailed without any legal justification.

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