Constitutional lawyers reject the special powers Earthquake Act

A group of constitutional lawyers and law professors have expressed their concerns about the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act in an open letter to NZ and Parliament.

Over and over again history demonstrates that unconstrained power is subject to misuse, and that even well-intentioned measures can result in unintended consequences if there are not clear, formal measures of oversight applied to them.

While they claim to understand the pressures that led to the Act being passed, they now say it's time for cooler heads to wind it back.

But we feel their action was a mistake, and they too quickly and readily abandoned basic constitutional principles in the name of expediency. We hope that with a period to reflect on their action and the consequences this might have that they now will revisit this issue in a more appropriate manner.