We want to hear from Lawyers - Court Security and Lawyer ID Cards
The Ministry of Justice has indicated they are considering introducing identification cards for lawyers to be able to bypass queues at court security screening.
“To minimise the inconvenience of the entry process at te kōti (where there are queues), Tāhū o te Ture propose that the profession consider wearing an identification card that would allow members to circumvent the initial queue and make it possible to be screened immediately, ahead of other koti participants,” Maeve Neilson, General Manager Health, Safety and Security at the Ministry of Justice wrote in a letter to the New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa.
Delays in accessing the court building caused by new security protocols as well as other issues relating to the operation of court security and screening, has been an increasing issue for some court lawyers across the country, however this has often varied significantly depending on location.
Consequently, as many lawyers are aware the Law Society has been advocating on behalf of the profession and actively engaging with the Ministry on the issue of lawyer ID cards, accessibility and court security. This work has been ongoing for some time.
Following those discussions, the Ministry has written to the Law Society outlining recent legislative changes, current security requirements across different courthouses and other factors that the Ministry are considering along with a possible identification card for lawyers. You can read the Ministry’s letter here.
If anyone has any feedback on this topic, please feel free to get in touch with Emily.Sutton@lawsociety.org.nz.