Correspondence with Sir Thomas Eichelbaum

Ross Francis made this Official Information request to Ministry of Justice

The request was refused by Ministry of Justice.

From: Ross Francis

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please send me all records, including but not limited to emails and deleted emails, of correspondence between the Justice Ministry and Sir Thomas Eichelbaum between 1 January 2000 and 3 March 2000 (inclusive).

In regards to the ministerial inquiry into the Peter Ellis case, please send me the first and last 10 pages of Sir Thomas Eichelbaum’s draft report including his conclusion. Please send me his conclusion if it does not appear in his final 10 pages. Please note I am not requesting any advice that officials may have provided Sir Thomas.

Sir Thomas Eichelbaum had nothing but praise for Justice Neil Williamson – the Ellis trial judge – when, in 1997, he delivered the Inaugural Neil Williamson Memorial Lecture. He referred to his late friend and colleague as a “model judge”.

"I had the greatest admiration for Neil…[he had] exceptional gifts of judgment, integrity and humanity. He conducted many of the most difficult trials of his time, and he did so impeccably. Neil was much more than an outstanding Judge…[he was] an exceptional human being."

Was Sir Thomas chosen to head the ministerial inquiry into the Peter Ellis case because of or depite his friendship with Williamson? Did anyone at the ministry suggest that it might be more appropriate to appoint a jurist who didn't have a vested interest in the outcome of the ministerial inquiry?

Yours faithfully,

Ross Francis

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From: correspondence, official
Ministry of Justice

Good morning,

thank you for your request. This is an email to confirm it has been received by the Ministry.

Kind regards,

Sophie Warren

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Ross Francis left an annotation ()

Thanks for you reply Sophie.

I'm not sure why you have refused my request. You will be aware that the principle of the Official Information Act is that information should be released unless a good reason exists under the Act for withholding it. You have not provided me with a good reason. I suggest you consider my request in good faith and release the information I have requested.

Ross Francis

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