justice

John Banks is now a convicted criminal. Which is a good thing, but maybe not for the reason you think.

So the first line of John Banks' future obituary has now been written: "John Banks, former mayor of Auckland and a long serving MP and Minister for the National and Act Parties who was convicted of falsely reporting contributions to one of his campaigns, has died."

The force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners in Guantanamo prison amounts to politically sanctioned torture by the US government, and breaches established international medical ethics treaties.

The prisoner hunger strike is action of last resort.

It is political in that its aim is usually to draw attention to the injustices of unlimited detention without trial, of torture, oppressive prison conditions and a general lack of access to judicial safeguards.

Jury trials are slow, expensive and don't necessarily produce the 'right' verdict -- so why do we still use them?

Our legal system – note I do not call it our justice system – deserves to come in for criticism. Not everything is bad, but there are elements that need to be reformed.

Basic things don’t look right to me – for starters, it costs way too much and is way too slow. But there is more.

The Palestinians will seek full statehood at the UN Security Council next week so as to negotiate peace on a state-to-state basis. Why could that possibly send Israel and the US scrambling? Why indeed.

The Palestinians have announced they are going to the United Nations next week to seek full membership.

Fear of terrorists - real or imagined - has against triumphed in the US as the Obama Administration has been forced to concede the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks will be tried by military court, in Guantanamo, thereby breaking two major Obama election promises.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has the right to be mighty peeved at being forced to try the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks by military tribunal.