Imperator Fish Nation: Government plans rule of law reform


By James Rowland

(Click here for details of how you can contribute a piece to Imperator Fish Nation)

The National Party have signalled their most ambitious reform programme yet in the Party’s history. Speaking to the assembled press within the Beehive, John Key announced that the last year of his government’s second term will be dedicated to guiding through plans to reform the “rule of law”.
“Psst, there’s been a lot of talk about how my government has no respect for the concept. So it seemed like a sensible option to simply reform the rule of law itself,” John Key explained.

Legal academics were stunned into silence at the announcement, before taking to Twitter to criticise the policy within one hundred and forty characters. The biggest hurdle to National’s agenda would seem to be the fact that there is no universal definition of the rule of law, with various organisations, including the United Nations, all coming to different conclusions.

Furthermore, there were reports that a Cabinet meeting fell apart when considering the proposed Bill. The Attorney-General was seen leaving the room swearing after spending an hour and a half trying to explain the concept to his bemused colleagues.

The Prime Minister batted away concerns that his government was ill-prepared to undertake such unprecedented reforms.

“Yeah, look, obviously we had a bit of trouble with understanding what the whole thing was about,” said Mr Key.

“Chris had a good go at explaining it, but it’s not like we have a lot of lawyers in Cabinet. We’ve decided we’re going to work our reforms off Albert Dicey’s definition, which comes with a handy three-principle check-list. Obviously, the reforms will be called the Key Principles.

“Because my surname is Key,” the Prime Minister added after a moment of awkward silence.

After the adoring laughter had died down, John Key urged caution, explaining that the reforms are still a work in progress. He was able to go into some details, though.

“Mr Dicey’s first principle” would be changed to state that a person cannot be punished unless the Prime Minister deems that a breach of law or potential law has occurred.

After a prolonged fit of the giggle during his attempt to explain the new equality principle, John Key gave up and said that a press release would be circulated at a later date.

“Mr Dicey’s third major principle is actually a good starting point,” Key said to finish his press conference.

“He apparently said that the constitution itself is a subject of the common law, which is great. We’re only going to engineer a small reform so that it reads that the common law is subject to the National Party’s constitution instead.”

Christopher Finlayson was unavailable to comment in his capacity as the Attorney-General, due to his time being taken up ensuring that New Zealand’s Cultural Golden Age continues onwards. A museum dedicated to the ways that Sir Geoffrey Palmer is categorically wrong about everything is due to open next week.

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