|Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis|
Peter Ellis, 1992
|Born||30 March 1958|
Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis (born March 30, 1958) is a former Christchurch child care worker who has been at the centre of one of New Zealand's most enduring judicial controversies. Events 240 BC - 1st recorded Perihelion passage of Halley's Comet. Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Christchurch (Ōtautahi The largest City in the South Island, it is also the second largest city and third largest urban area of New Zealand Childcare (also written child care and babycare is the act of caring for and supervising minor Children (In Australia Daycare is referred New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island In June 1993 Ellis was found guilty on 16 counts of sexual offences involving children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Creche and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar) Child sexual abuse is a form of Child abuse in which a child is abused for the sexual gratification of an adult or older adolescent This outcome has been strongly criticised, with concerns centering around how the children's testimony was obtained and presented to the jury. Ellis has always maintained his innocence and many New Zealanders have supported calls to overturn his convictions.
The case has been subject to a High Court trial, two Court of Appeal hearings, and a Ministerial Inquiry. The High Court of New Zealand was established in 1841 and known as the Supreme Court until 1980 The Court of Appeal of New Zealand, located in Wellington, is New Zealand ’s principal intermediate Appellate court. There have also been two parliamentary petitions, two books and numerous articles about the case.
Ellis is the eldest of four children. His parents were teachers who separated when he was nine. He left school at the end of 1975 and went tobacco picking in Motueka. Tobacco is an Agricultural product recognized as an addictive drug processed from the fresh Leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. Motueka is a town in the South Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the mouth of the Motueka River, on the western shore of Tasman Bay After two years overseas, he returned to New Zealand and spent some time unemployed. He had a part-time job in a bakery in the early 1980s which eventually became full-time. A part-time job carries fewer hours per week than a Full-time job and usually pays less than a full-time job A permanent full-time job usually has benefits (such as health insurance however temporary full-time jobs usually do not have benefits When he left this job and applied for an unemployment benefit, authorities discovered he had received dole payments to which he wasn't entitled. Unemployment benefits are payments made by Governments to unemployed people He was prosecuted and convicted in 1986 of "misleading a social welfare officer", and sentenced to 80 hours community service.
In August 1986, Ellis carried out his community service at the Christchurch Civic Creche. Community service refers to service that a person performs for the benefit of his or her local Community. His supervisor, Dora Reinfeld, later reported that "Peter . . . provided some hilarious puppetry shows - one of which we had to abandon as staff and children 'got out of hand'". Ellis became a relieving worker, and Reinfeld's next monthly report said: "Peter Ellis has fitted in extremely well and puts lots of energy into programme planning. Fantastic team spirit".  Ellis's pre-sentencing report said "The overall picture gained of Peter Ellis is that of an outgoing, uninhibited, unconventional person given to putting plenty of enthusiasm and energy into his work and social activities, sometimes to the point of being risqué and outrageous". 
Prior to his imprisonment, Ellis had sexual relationships lasting for periods of two to five years with both men and women. He told Lynley Hood "In a relationship with a woman I was, for want of a better word, bisexual, and with a man I was monogamous". When working for the Civic Creche, Ellis was described by Hood as "blatently homosexual". 
In 2005, he suffered a heart attack and required hospitalisation. Myocardial infarction ( MI or AMI for acute myocardial infarction) also known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply
After completing his community work, Ellis began full-time employment at the Civic Creche from September 15, 1986 until November 21, 1991, when he was suspended. Events 668 - Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II is assassinated in his bath at Syracuse Italy. Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) Events 164 BC - Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family restores the Temple in Jerusalem. Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. On March 30, 1992, Ellis was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a child at the creche. Events 240 BC - 1st recorded Perihelion passage of Halley's Comet. Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual acts by one person upon another By the time of his depositions hearing in November 1992, he had been charged with 45 sexual offences involving 20 young children. Four female co-workers were charged with similar offences. At his trial, Ellis faced 28 charges involving 13 children. In June 1993, he was found guilty on 16 charges and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. He was released on parole on 2 February 2000 after serving the mandatory two-thirds of his sentence. Parole may have different meanings depending on the field and judiciary system Events 962 - Translatio imperii: Pope John XII crowns Otto I Holy Roman Emperor, the first Holy Roman Emperor 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Although eligible for parole from March 1998, Ellis refused to appear before the parole board, saying he would prefer to stay in jail if accepting parole required him to admit to a crime that he didn't commit. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) A parole board is a panel of people who decide whether an offender should be released from prison on Parole after serving at least a minimum portion of their sentence as prescribed 
The case began in November 1991 when a mother, who was a sexual abuse counsellor and self-diagnosed victim of sexual abuse, allegedly heard her four-year-old son say that he "didn't like Peter's black penis. " Ellis was placed on leave subject to an internal investigation. When formally interviewed by the Department of Social Welfare [DSW] the boy, and five other children suspected of having been abused, made no disclosures of sexual abuse. No charges were laid. The boy who made the original complaint was moved to another creche where his mother again accused a male creche worker of sexually abusing her son. No charges were laid.
In December 1991, Detective Colin Eade advised the creche's employer, the Christchurch City Council, about the allegations. A city council is a form of Local government, usually covering a City or other Urban area, such as a Town. Eade wrote: "To date there have been no disclosures of any sort of indecent touching by any person employed at the Child Care centre…[t]he reasons the parents, Ms Sidey [DSW] and myself were so concerned at the start of this enquiry, were that the children were displaying some behaviour that we often attribute to sexual abuse". Later in his letter Eade said the children who were interviewed by Sidey had a “general fear” of Ellis and this fear “may affect their behaviour for some time to come. ” He commented that it was clear to him that Ellis “should not be involved in any way in the supervision or care of children. I believe that we were very lucky to have this brought to our attention at this stage. If he had continued on at the Centre, things could have got [sic] worse”. At that stage, Eade had not interviewed Peter Ellis. Eade had no expertise in early childhood education. Early childhood education regards Education in Early childhood, which are the most vulnerable stages in a persons life
While the initial police investigation into the creche had officially concluded, children continued to be formally interviewed. Department of Social welfare evidential interviewer, Sue Sidey, testified at trial that she conducted interviews throughout January 1992. “Thereafter I continued interviewing those children whose parents had concerns”. Detective Eade was on leave during January 1992. As soon as he returned to work, Eade was advised that a child, who had not attended the creche, had disclosed sexual abuse. A new investigation then began into allegations of sexual abuse at the Civic Creche. When, over ten months later, this investigation had concluded, police believed at least ten offenders had sexually abused children at the Civic Crèche and eighty children were involved. 
In March 1992, the police arranged for a meeting of parents whose children had attended the creche. This was the second time that parents had publicly met to discuss their concerns about the possible sexual abuse of children. The Christchurch City Council sent a letter to every parent whose child had attended the creche during the period of Ellis’ employ. The letter informed parents that a meeting was to be held in the hall of the Knox church on 31 March 1992. Events 307 - After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) The letter advised parents not to speak to their children about the police investigation. The letter said such advice did not apply to any parent who was “already aware of the circumstances [of the investigation] or has already been in contact with the Police”. The letter stated that a psychologist “dealing with persons who offend against children” would be present at the meeting, and information from the Accident Compensation Commission would be available. Features ACC is the sole and compulsory provider of accident insurance for all work and non-work injuries At the time the letter was sent, police had not interviewed Ellis or other creche workers. The police arrested Ellis on March 30 and this was reported the following morning, the day of the parents' meeting. Events 240 BC - 1st recorded Perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
During the depositions hearing into the charges against Ellis, Sue Sidey said she might have told parents at the meeting that some of the indicators of sexual abuse were bedwetting, tantrums and nightmares. In Law, a deposition is witness testimony given under oath and recorded for use in court at a later date Sidey’s supervisor, psychiatrist Karen Zelas, testified at trial that there are behavioural factors, which the crèche complainants allegedly exhibited, that are “consistent with” sexual abuse. Bedwetting, nightmares, anxiety, stomach aches were all, she said, consistent with sexual abuse. Abdominal pain can be one of the Symptoms associated with transient disorders or serious disease She did not say that the complainants had been sexually abused, or that she believed they had been abused.
At least 118 children were interviewed as part of the second investigation into allegations of sexual abuse. Some had allegedly made allegations to their parents. Some were formally interviewed after they had been mentioned in abuse allegations made by other children. Many were interviewed following advice given to parents by police, sexual abuse counsellors and therapists. Some children were formally interviewed up to six times. One of the complainants upon whose evidence Ellis was convicted was formally interviewed over an eight month period.
Since 1996 the New Zealand Department of Child, Youth and Family Services has recommended that children who are interviewed to determine if they have been abused should undergo only one evidential interview. Child Youth and Family " CYF " (in Māori, Te Tari Awhina I te Tamaiti te Rangatahi tae atu ki te Whanau) is the government agency  Professor Stephen J. Ceci of Cornell University, an expert in children's suggestibility and children's courtroom testimony, has studied transcripts of many of the children's evidential interviews. Stephen J Ceci is an American psychologist and professor of Psychology at Cornell University. In July 1995 he said the interviews "were not conducted in accordance with currently understood scientific principles". According to Ceci, it is impossible to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate allegations when children are suggestively and repeatedly interviewed over a long period.
Contrary to best practice guidelines, parents and interviewers discussed children's abuse-allegations that had been previously elicited by parents. Best Practice is an idea that asserts that there is a technique, method process activity incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than Department of Social Welfare specialist interviewers Lynda Morgan and Sue Sidey both testified that they would then try to elicit the same allegations from the child. They would not try to determine if the allegations were reliable nor explore all possible origins of the children's allegations. One mother reportedly told her son's interviewer that she had repeatedly asked him direct questions. She said she was told she had done nothing wrong (Bander, 1997).
During the forensic interviews, children were asked if they had anything to say about the Civic Creche. Few allegations of abuse emerged during this phase of the interviews. Later in the interviews, many specific and direct questions were employed to elicit allegations that children had made to their parents. A number of suggestive and leading questions were asked. In Common law systems that rely on Testimony by witnesses a leading question is a question that suggests the answer or contains the information the examiner is looking Questions were sometimes repeated when the child had already provided an answer. Children were seldom advised that it was acceptable to say "I don't know" or "I can't remember". Sue Sidey testified that "don't knows" and "can't remembers" were often "anxious responses". She provided no evidence to support her claim.
Anatomically correct dolls were used. For dolls meant for sexual use see Sex doll An anatomically correct doll (or anatomically precise doll) is a Doll equipped Best practice for forensic interviewing now stipulates that interviewers should not employ such dolls. Best practice also stipulates that an interviewer should try to ascertain the source of a child's claims. Interviewers generally didn't ask children what they had previously heard or had been told about the case. They didn't ask the children what their parents had said to them about Peter Ellis or the Civic Creche. The evidential interviewers seldom probed children's bizarre allegations and sometimes ignored their own guidelines. One complainant told Sue Sidey on 14 occasions that she wanted to leave the interviewing room. Sidey testified at trial that the child appeared to be "very anxious".
Four female co-workers of Ellis were arrested on October 1, 1992. Events 331 BC - Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela. Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) At depositions they faced 15 charges that included sexual violation, indecent assault and one charge of performing an indecent act in a public place. Sexual assault is any Assault of a sexual nature on another person Indecent assault is a form of Sex crime in many Jurisdictions Indecent assault is defined by UK Law as any unwanted sexual behaviour or touching A public space refers to an area or place that is open and accessible to all citizens regardless of Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Age or The charges were dropped, after depositions, on three grounds: firstly that evidence against them was of insufficient weight to justify a trial; secondly that there was so great a potential for prejudice against them that they might be convicted for the “wrong reasons”; thirdly that the unavoidable delay in their trial may have resulted in hardship to the child involved. In March 1995 they, and six other former staff who had also lost their jobs when the creche was closed in September 1992, were awarded $1 million by the Employment Court. Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995 This was later reduced to $170,000 by the Court of Appeal in September 1996. The Court of Appeal of New Zealand, located in Wellington, is New Zealand ’s principal intermediate Appellate court. Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) 
Following the first investigation into allegations of abuse at the creche, the Christchurch City Council requested that psychologist and sex therapist, Rosemary Smart, review the management practices at the crèche. Sex therapy is the treatment of Sexual dysfunction, such as non- consummation, Premature ejaculation or Erectile dysfunction, low Libido The review of the management of the Civic Creche was in response to "incidents of alleged sexual abuse of children at the Centre over a period of six years by a male staff member" (Smart, 1992). Smart's report quoted from Finkelhor's Nursery Crimes: sexual abuse in day care (1988), supplied to Smart by the office of Ian Hassall, then Commissioner for Children. Ian Hassall is a New Zealand paediatrician and children's advocate It is an examination of an epidemic of alleged sexual abuse, including satanic ritual abuse, in USA day care centres. A ritual is a set of actions often thought to have Symbolic value the performance of which is usually prescribed by a Religion or by the Traditions Day care or child care is care of a child during the Day by a person other than the child's Parents or Legal guardians typically someone outside In her report’s introduction Smart said that sexual abuse in creches was a "phenomenon" and of "substantial concern for parents with children in care".
Smart’s report didn't mention any details of mass allegation creche cases. In the (1985) Wee Care Nursery School case, Kelly Michaels, a childcare worker, was charged with 235 counts of sexual abuse, She was found guilty on 115 counts involving 20 children and sentenced to 47 years in prison. The Wee Care Nursery School was in Maplewood New Jersey and was one of many Day care Child abuse cases that went to trial in the 1980s She served five years before her convictions were overturned. In the McMartin preschool trial, then the most expensive in US criminal history, childcare worker Raymond Buckey and his 78-year-old grandmother were among the seven accused. The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case of the 1980s A criminal record is a record of a person's criminal history generally used by potential employers lenders etc None were convicted. Buckey was remanded in prison for five years until 1990 when all remaining charges were dropped. A former FBI agent, Lanning (1991), reported that investigations into more than 300 alleged multi-victim, multi-offender ritual sexual abuse cases had produced no physical evidence of abuse. Physical evidence is any evidence introduced in a trialin the form of a physical object intended to prove a fact in issue based on its demonstrable physical characteristics
Rosemary Smart's report was critical of creche staff for failing to notice signs that children had allegedly been abused by Peter Ellis. Smart provided no evidence that children had been sexually abused. Smart suggested that staff might have been directly or indirectly involved with abuse at the Civic Creche. She claimed "[the staff’s] knowledge of the detection and response to sexual abuse was minimal to non-existent". She wrote that "there have been few cases where staff members have been the source of sexual abuse disclosures by children" and, quoting Finkelhor, "this is because of "many disincentives, a great deal of reticence and reluctance to report, massive ignorance and inattention, as well as a few cases of actual covering up of abuse on the part of staff"". The crèche staff that Rosemary Smart spoke to "did not know of any incidents of sexual abuse of the children under their care".
Smart's report, a copy of which was given to police, was completed in July 1992. The report stands in marked contrast to another report made by the Education Review Office. The Education Review Office (In Māori, Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga) or ERO is a relatively small state sector organisation of New Zealand The Education Review Office is a government department that undertakes periodic three-yearly reviews of all school and pre-school facilities in New Zealand. A government agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the Machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions A nursery school is a school for children between the ages of three and five staffed by qualified teachers and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play rather than Coincidentally, in the week following the suspension of Peter Ellis, Education Review Office inspectors spent a full week at the Civic Crèche, observing its daily operation. The office subsequently issued a highly favourable report stating that "The staff ensure personal needs are met with warmth, care and consideration. The children appear happy, inquisitive and sociable" and that ". . . they [the children] have high self-esteem. In Psychology, self-esteem reflects a Person 's overall evaluation or appraisal of her or his own worth "  
On September 3, 1992, following discussions between the City Council, Ministry of Education and police, the Civic Creche was closed. Events 36 BC - In the Battle of Naulochus, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Admiral of Octavian, defeats Sextus Pompeius Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar)
At trial, Ellis faced 28 charges involving 13 children. He was charged with, among other things, urinating in a boy's face, placing his penis against a girl's vagina, placing his penis on her anus, touching a girl's vagina and inducing a girl to touch his penis. Some children alleged that he drove them in a white car to his flat in Hereford St, where they were allegedly abused. Most of the alleged abuse occurred in the toilets at the creche. "The offences were alleged to have taken place at unspecified times and dates between 1 May 1986 (four months before Ellis came to the creche) and 1 October 1992 (11 months after he left the creche, and one month after the creche was closed) (Hood, 2001)". Events 305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor. Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) Events 331 BC - Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela. Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) Barristers Rob Harrison and Siobhan McNulty represented Ellis; Brent Stanaway and Chris Lange appeared for the Crown.
The complainants testified by two separate means: pre-recorded videotaped interviews conducted by Department of Social Welfare officers (evidence in chief); testimony via a closed circuit TV link to the children, who were outside the courtroom. Prosecutors had sanitised some of the charges so that few of the bizarre allegations were heard. Rulings by the judge, Neil Williamson, meant that the playing of videotaped interviews not specific to the charges were subject to restrictions. The defence was permitted to play tapes of their choice, but the following applied: unlike prosecution tapes, the child complainants did not have to view defence tapes; in contrast to the prosecution tapes, the jury did not receive a transcript of tapes played by the defence. Before testifying, the children watched portions of their tapes, upon which the prosecution relied, but did not view defence-onus tapes in which they had denied being abused or had made bizarre allegations. Each complainant was accompanied in the CCTV room by an adult, usually a social worker who had been counselling the child in the months leading up to the trial.
Peter Ellis testified that on the occasions he took children for walks, he was accompanied by an adult 75% of the time. The only two bus trips he had taken with children were well documented and had involved other staff members. He stated that he walked to work, didn't take a bus and that he didn't know the bus timetables. He later qualified that statement and said that sometimes, when it was raining, he would catch a bus to work. He said that whenever possible he would try to avoid nappy [diaper] changes "and things like that". He accepted that he was "often in the toilets alone with children", as were other creche workers. He said that he had never had a driver's licence and had never owned a car. He could drive but he "wouldn't recommend anyone getting into it [with him]". He said he would sometimes wear track suit pants without wearing underwear. He did this, he said, because he suffered from psoriasis. Psoriasis (səˈraɪəsɪs ( suh-RI-uh-sus) is a non-contagious disorder which affects the Skin and Joints It commonly causes red scaly
The Crown prosecutor, Brent Stanaway, argued that Ellis took children on walks ostensibly so he could abuse them. Throughout the Commonwealth realms The Crown is an abstract metonymic concept which represents the legal authority for the existence of any government Stanaway said there were only two walks recorded in the creche logbook for February 1990. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) Ellis said that the creche had moved to new premises near that time and that may have been the reason why there were fewer walks during that month. Ellis said he would sometimes forget to record details of the walks. If he was in a hurry, he would notify one of the creche staff and ask them to record the details. He said he didn't wear a watch but that walks lasted no longer than an hour and ten minutes. One of Ellis's colleagues testified that some walks lasted two hours or longer, but others confirmed Ellis's estimate.
One creche worker testified that Ellis had told her about taking photos of adult sex acts. Human sexual behavior or different human sexual practices encompass a wide range of activities such as strategies to find or attract partners ( Mating and display Another said that Ellis had talked to her about "golden showers". Urolagnia (also urophilia, undinism) is a Sexual activity in which participants derive sexual pleasure from Urine and/or Urination It was alleged that Ellis and his mother had taken photos of adults engaged in sex. Ellis testified that he had not spoken to any creche worker about "golden showers".  He admitted that he had talked about photos of sex acts with a colleague but that he was "having her on". Ellis owned a camera, as did the Civic Creche. An extensive police investigation turned up no photos of adult (or child) sex acts.
Two general practitioners of medicine appeared for the Crown. A general practitioner, or GP is a medical practitioner who provides Primary care and specializes in Family medicine. They testified about medical examinations of complainant children which were undertaken in order to record any physical evidence that supported sexual abuse. Their evidence neither confirmed nor excluded the possibility of sexual abuse. Both testified that abuse involving the trauma that was alleged by some of the children, such as insertion of sticks and burning paper into the anus, would result in severe pain and distress to children of that age and that such discomfort might last for days, dependant on its severity. Pain, in the sense of physical pain, is a typical sensory experience that may be described as the unpleasant awareness of a noxious stimulus or bodily harm 
At least two of the children repeated claims that many adults had been involved in the abuse of children. Spike, Boulderhead, Yuckhead, Stupidhead and other names were mentioned. Several children testified that their parents had questioned them about Ellis. The questions bore a resemblance to the nature of the charges. For example, one boy testified that his mother had asked him if Ellis had urinated in his face. He said his mother had been told by other parents what Ellis had done to him. One girl said she "learnt about all the things Peter did" before being formally interviewed. When asked who taught her, she replied: "Cathy [a specialist interviewer], and she told me what Peter did". The other interviewers denied coaching the children prior to their interviews. However, during Lynda Morgan's interview of child O (court code) , the only complainant to be interviewed only once, the child agreed with Morgan that she had spoken to Sue Sidey prior to the interview.
Psychiatrist Karen Zelas was the prosecution's expert witness. An expert witness is a Witness, who by virtue of Education, Training, Skill, or Experience, is believed to have Knowledge She had advised police during their investigation as to how they should collect evidence. She had trained and overseen the interviewers and had attended the second parents' meeting. She had previously advised judges on how child sexual abuse cases should be prosecuted. She contributed to the formulation of section 23G of the Evidence Act, under which an expert can say that certain behaviours are "consistent with" sexual abuse. Scientists and research-based experts that do not have a clinical background are not permitted to testify in cases of sexual abuse.
Zelas testified that the complainants were credible and their evidence was plausible. Their behaviour, she said, was consistent with sexual abuse. When asked what behaviour was inconsistent with sexual abuse, Zelas replied: "I hadn't thought about that". She testified that direct questions were acceptable and useful. "There is a substantial body of research evidence that shows asking children direct questions increases substantially the amount of detail or information they are able to give…the asking of such questions does not lead to significantly more inaccurate answers". However, in a 1992 television interview (Holmes, TVNZ), Zelas said that parents who question their children about sexual abuse "might introduce ideas to the child by the way in which they ask questions…and then. . . it may be impossible to know whether or not their child actually has been abused". In August 1992, she wrote to the police saying that two of the complainants had undergone "highly leading questioning" from their parents. Her letter was not disclosed to Ellis's defence, and Zelas didn't mention any concerns about the two children's credibility at trial.
Karen Zelas also testified that children had to experience sexual activity before they could describe it. "They have to either be told about it in explicit detail, observe it or have it done to them". She qualified that by saying that information provided to children to keep them safe was not sufficiently explicit to "give the children the depth of knowledge that would enable them to describe in detail…acts of sexual activity in a plausible manner".
Psychiatrist and defence expert, Keith Le Page, said that none of the behaviours described by Zelas were specific to sexual abuse. Le Page said that the child's family history had to be examined to determine other stressors in the child's life. Family history is the systematic narrative and research of past events relating to a specific Family, or specific families Changing schools, for example, could be stressful. He said: "The only way to be certain is to get inside the child's mind at the moment when these things were happening because there was no evident stress from any child in relation to any of these things until they were questioned [by their parents]". Le Page said that in his experience, children and adults who had been abused usually expressed distress when recounting their experiences of abuse. "It's not until they really come to terms with what has happened to them that their emotions will stabilise". The complainants showed little or no distress when describing acts of abuse during their interviews and when later testifying in court.
Le Page also testified that children couldn't remember events experienced at a very young age when there was a long delay between the event and the attempt to recall it. Children couldn't remember events, even traumatic events, that had occurred at two or three years of age when there was a long delay, he claimed. The alleged abuse at the creche had occurred when children were at these ages.
In June 1993 Ellis was convicted of 16 counts of sexual offences involving seven children. The following year he was acquitted of three charges involving the oldest complainant, who had retracted her allegations.
A number of irregularities in the trial were publicised in a TV3 20/20 television programme which aired on 16 November 1997. TV3 is a commercial Television station in New Zealand. It began broadcasting on November 26 1989 as the first privately owned television network in the 20/20 is an American television Newsmagazine broadcast on ABC since June 6, 1978. Events 534 - A second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar The programme alleged that the jury foreman had been the celebrant at the Crown Prosecutor's wedding 15 years earlier, and another juror had had a sexual relationship with a close work colleague of a complainant's mother. An intimate relationship is a particularly close Interpersonal relationship. The investigating detective, Colin Eade, had had sexual relationships with two of the mothers after the trial and had propositioned another during the course of the investigation. He also had had a sexual relationship with one of the evidential interviewers after the trial. The mother whom he propositioned subsequently withdrew her child, the first to make a formal disclosure of abuse, from the inquiry. In 1994 Eade left the police suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Post traumatic stress disorder It is a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to  Colin Eade said in the television documentary that he wouldn't be surprised if all the complainants hadn't recanted at some stage of the investigation. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt in one fashion or another to " Document " reality
The Accident Compensation Corporation, ACC, reportedly paid more than $500,000 to about 40 parents of Civic Creche children. Features ACC is the sole and compulsory provider of accident insurance for all work and non-work injuries Generally parents received a standard $10,000, "but in cases where Ellis faced multiple charges relating to a single child, some parents claimed for each alleged incident of abuse" (McLoughlin, 1996). One child's parents allegedly claimed five payments, another claimed four. A conviction wasn't necessary before money was paid out. An absence of charges didn't prevent parents from receiving a payout. Colin Eade and therapists working with the complainants wrote letters to ACC supporting claims for compensation, many of these applications involved children who were not part of subsequent court proceedings.
The case entered the Court of Appeal in February 1994 with Nigel Hampton, QC, and, when Hampton later fell ill, Graham Panckhurst, QC, acting as counsel for Ellis, both were assisted by Rob Harrison. Brent Stanaway and Chris Lange appeared for the Crown. The hearing was interrupted on 28 July when the oldest child on whose testimony Ellis was convicted told her parents that her story was not true, that she had said only what she thought her parents and the interviewer wanted to hear. Events 1540 - Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of Treason. The Court of Appeal considered that it was not uncommon for child complainants to withdraw their allegations. The appellate judges believed the retraction may have been a case of denial on the part of the child and was grounds to overturn only those convictions relating to that child.  The child has continued to maintain that she fabricated her allegations.
In 1999 the Ellis case was referred to the Court of Appeal for a second time.  Judith Ablett Kerr, QC, appeared as counsel for Ellis, Simon France for the Crown. As was the case in the original trial and in the case of the first appeal, the court restricted the ambit of material it would examine. Reliability of the complainants' accounts, contamination by parents and other sources, along with non-disclosure by police of photographs to defence counsel, formed the basis of Ablett Kerr’s submission. In most Litigation under the Common law Adversarial system the Defendant, perhaps with the assistance of counsel, may allege or present Ablett Kerr argued that the jury had not been allowed to examine these issues in their entirety. The Crown argued that risks involved with multi allegation, multi victim cases were well understood at the time of the trial and the jury had been given a clear picture of the case. The court concluded that they were not persuaded that a miscarriage of justice had occurred but suggested a commission of inquiry could better examine some of the issues raised.
Dr Barry Parsonson, former head of the New Zealand Psychologists Board, has said that in relation to the children's evidence that led to Ellis's conviction, "the probability of the proportion of fact outweighing the proportion of fiction must be very, very small indeed". He wrote a 120 page report into the children's interviews for Ellis's second Court of Appeal hearing. Michael Lamb, Ray Bull and Maggie Bruck are among international experts who have provided affadavits supporting Ellis's appeals to have his conviction overturned. At the second appeal the Crown presented the expert opinion of Dr Constance Dalenberg.
In 1999 retired High Court judge Sir Thomas Thorp examined a petition for the Royal prerogative of mercy lodged by Ellis's counsel, Judith Ablett Kerr. A High Court judge is a judge of the High Court of Justice, and represents the third highest level of judge in the Courts of England and Wales. Sir Thomas Murray Thorp KNZM, born in 1925 is a retired New Zealand judge In the British tradition the Prerogative of Mercy is one of the historic Royal Prerogatives of the British monarch in which he or she can grant Pardons to Thorp expressed misgivings with several aspects of the case and recommended a wide-ranging inquiry. His concerns included: the lack of corroboration of the children’s claims, the sanitising of some of the charges, the testimony of Karen Zelas, and the fact that several experts with reputations in their field had expressed doubts about the accuracy of the children’s claims. Corroborating evidence is evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some evidence
He made several recommendations, among which included employing the services of Stephen J. Ceci. Stephen J Ceci is an American psychologist and professor of Psychology at Cornell University. Ceci had commented on the case for a TVNZ Assignment television program. Ceci had been supplied with a limited number of transcripts but had not seen videotapes of the children's interviews. Thorp wrote "Professor Ceci's involvement to date appears to have been as a consultant to TV3 [sic]. His studies of the American "mass allegation creche cases suggest that his opinion could be of particular value. There seems no reason why the Ministry, or Crown Law if it preferred, could not seek his opinion. "
He noted the comments of Dr Barry Parsonson, Professor Ceci and Justice Wood, who presided over the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service. The Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service ("Wood Royal Commission" was held in the State of New South Wales, Australia between Thorp stated that the central issues had "nearly attained" an evidentiary basis. If the opinions of Parsonson, Ceci and Wood were found to have substantial support, "it would", he said, "be difficult to argue against the existence of a serious doubt about the safety of the Petitioner’s convictions".
In March 2000, then Minister of Justice, Phil Goff, established a ministerial inquiry into the conduct of the interviews, headed by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum. Philip Bruce Goff (born 22 June, 1953) generally known as Phil Goff, is the current Minister of Defence of New Zealand. The Right Honourable Sir Johann Thomas Eichelbaum, GBE, QC (艾俊彬爵士 (born May 17 1931) was the eleventh Chief Justice This was undertaken in response to ongoing concerns over the reliability of the children's evidence. In a later submission, Ministry officials stated that the Ministerial Inquiry was "intended to address specific areas of concern that might not have been seen to have been fully resolved by the Court of Appeal". Released in March 2001, Eichelbaum's inquiry concluded that the interviews were of good quality overall, and that though excessive questioning by some parents could have led to some contamination, this would not have been sufficient to affect the convictions. 
Eichelbaum made several comments about the case. He found that "the evidence emerged in a credible way". If a particular allegation was induced by a leading question, but jurors did not view the tape, it could not have caused Mr Ellis "any prejudice". The interviewers "were rarely coercive, and remained neutral throughout". The arguments raised by Ellis's counsel in relation to mass allegations "were recognised and traversed" at trial and during two Court of Appeal hearings. Whatever "shortcomings as occurred in the interviewing process did not lead to convictions". In relation to the legal process, "doubtful allegations and charges were weeded out. Service of process is the procedure employed to give Legal notice to a person (such as a defendant of a Court or administrative body's exercise of Some charges were dismissed at a preliminary stage, and others during the pre trial process. The jury was astute in identifying those where the supporting evidence or the method by which it emerged was open to valid criticism". The case put forward on Ellis's behalf failed "by a distinct margin; I have not found this anything like a borderline judgment".
The ministerial inquiry was itself controversial. Thomas Eichelbaum was instructed in his terms of reference to seek opinions "from at least two internationally recognised experts (if possible with experience in mass allegation child sexual abuse)". Val Sim, then chief legal counsel at the Justice Ministry, advised Sir Thomas on possible candidates. A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law as an attorney, Counsel or Solicitor; a person The Minister of Justice is a minister in the government of New Zealand. Many leading sex abuse researchers and experts were "discounted" by Sim, due to previous involvement with the case, short publication histories, an overly academic focus, or a controversial public profile. This included Stephen J. Ceci because he had already expressed a view on the case in the media. Stephen J Ceci is an American psychologist and professor of Psychology at Cornell University. Gail Goodman's career had been controversial, but Goodman was Sim's first choice.  Two experts were selected: Graham Davies, professor of psychology (UK), and Dr Louise Sas (Canada), a clinical psychologist and child advocate who had no prior experience in mass allegation creche cases. Clinical psychology includes the scientific study and application of Psychology for the purpose of understanding preventing In a confidential Ministry of Justice memo, Eichelbaum stated that he didn't appoint Ceci or Goodman because of their "research direction" and "high profile".  Eichelbaum was advised by Val Sim to ignore Thorp's report because it was not a public document. 
Eichelbaum interpreted his terms of reference such that he did not interview anyone who had been directly involved with the case. He did not speak with any of the children. He did not speak with the children's parents, some of whom regularly visited the Civic Crèche . He did not speak with the children's evidential interviewers. He did not speak with any of the crèche workers. He did not speak with Ellis’s mother. He did not speak with Peter Ellis. He did not speak with the oldest complainant, one of seven children upon whose evidence Ellis was convicted. Several months after the trial had ended, the child stated that she had not been sexually abused. Eichelbaum did not seek advice from academics within New Zealand universities when appointing experts for his inquiry.  The only people with whom Eichelbaum discussed the matter of the selection of the experts were Justice Ministry officials and Thomas Lyon, a USA law professor. The law of the United States was originally largely derived from the Common law system of English law, which was in force at the time of the Revolutionary In 1999 Lyon criticised the direction and relevance of research undertaken by experts nominated by Ellis's counsel.  Lyon's critique was cited approvingly in the Crown's submission to the ministerial inquiry.
The Crown submission said: "The new wave researches [sic] assume that highly suggestive interviewing techniques are the norm in an abuse investigation when there is little empirical evidence to support this view". Empirical research is any research that bases its findings on direct or indirect Observation as its test of Reality. Stephen J. Ceci, one of the "new wave", has rejected this claim. Stephen J Ceci is an American psychologist and professor of Psychology at Cornell University. Also, it is difficult to see the relevance of the above quote in the context of the Civic Creche case, which is atypical of sex abuse investigations. Lyon agrees that "if one knows whether a particular child was interviewed with suggestive techniques, then one need not ask what most interviews are like". Two of the "new wave", Ceci and Maggie Bruck, wrote an amicus brief on suggestibility in support of Kelly Michaels. Amicus curiae or amicus curiæ (plural amici curiae) is a Legal Latin phrase literally translated as "friend of the court" People are deemed to be suggestible if they accept and act on suggestions by others It was signed by 43 of the 46 researchers who were asked to do so, among them some of the "most well-respected researchers in psychology" (Lyon). Michaels' convictions were subsequently overturned. Ceci and Friedman write that "what Lyon characterizes as a ‘new wave’ of research is actually a broad and long-standing scientific mainstream". 
Eichelbaum claimed that "the experts and I independently reached the view that the children’s evidence in the conviction cases was reliable". Eichelbaum did not say how he determined the children’s evidence to be reliable. Professor Graham Davies, one of his appointees, did not assert that the children’s evidence was reliable. He wrote he would not "pronounce on the reliability of individual children’s accounts".  The children’s age and the historic nature of the alleged abuse meant that the children could not "be expected to provide the kind of detailed and spontaneous accounts which are so useful from the point of view of making judgements on reliability". Davies stated that he had doubts about the accuracy of allegations concerning abuse outside the crèche. Five guilty verdicts resulted from such allegations.
Louise Sas did not refer to the lack of corroboration of the children's claims. She said that "some parents may have wrongly attributed their child's symptoms to abuse without considering an alternative hypothesis". In her discussion of bizarre allegations in one complainant's evidential interview, she mentioned children being hung in cages as an example of an event "that really happened".  The child had claimed that Peter Ellis's mother placed him and other children in cages which were hung from the ceiling. No cages were found and Peter Ellis's mother was not the subject of any charges.
Sas noted, as did Davies, that the interviewers had made errors during the interviewing of children. She concluded that these errors were of no consequence and that the children's evidence was reliable.
Sir Thomas Eichelbaum was unconcerned about the lack of corroboration of the children's claims. Graham Davies, however, wanted the issue of corroboration to be investigated as part of "the wider inquiry". Davies erroneously believed that his report was part of a wide-ranging inquiry. Eichelbaum's terms of reference meant that he did not need to traverse the issues raised in Sir Thomas Thorp's report. Eichelbaum therefore did not try to determine whether the opinions of Parsonson, Ceci and Wood had substantial support.
Phil Goff, then Minister of Justice, claimed that the Ministerial Inquiry had cost $500,000. The amount budgeted for the inquiry was $500,000 to $800,000. The actual cost was $148,878. 
In November 1993, Pamela Hudson visited Christchurch to present a seminar on satanic ritual abuse, at the invitation of Rosemary Smart. Satanic ritual abuse ( SRA, sometimes known as ritual abuse, cult related abuse, ritualized abuse, sadistic ritual abuse, ritual Hudson is an American ritual abuse expert, social worker and hypnotherapist. She began to write extensively about ritual child abuse in the 1980s, and in early 1991 she published “Ritual Child Abuse:Discovery, Diagnosis and Treatment”, which catalogued 16 symptoms or forms of ritual child abuse. Child abuse is the physical, psychological or sexual maltreatment of children These included being injected with needles, being photographed while being abused, being defecated and urinated upon, being forced to watch animals being killed, observing the torture and molestation of other children, being locked in a cage, witnessing the killing of babies or children. Some children described many or all of these symptoms during the police investigation of the Civic. 
At the Civic Creche, several allegations were made, that a baby had been killed, animals had been sacrificed, three- and four-year-olds had performed oral sex on adults, a creche employee had urinated in a boy’s face, a female employee had touched a girl’s vagina with a knife, another had had sex with Ellis in front of the children, creche workers had danced naked in a circle while children watched, children had been photographed having sex with adults, naked children had been forced at knifepoint to kick one another while adults wearing white suits played guitars and pretended to be cowboys, a child had had burning paper and sharp sticks inserted into his anus, children had been placed in "smoking hot" ovens, and children had been suspended in cages hung from the ceiling. Oral sex refers to sexual activities involving the use of the Mouth, and may include use of the Tongue, Teeth, and Throat, in order These incidents were reported as having taken place in diverse locations, including in cemeteries, private homes and the Park Royal Hotel, but most allegedly occurred at the creche. 
In 1997, Joy Bander published a book about the case. Joy Bander says that after she had heard about allegations of abuse at the creche, she asked her son, Tom, who had attended the creche, if Peter Ellis had abused him. He said he had not and referred to Ellis as his "friend". Bander said she felt "relieved". She said that Tom "would have told us if anything had happened, by asking him directly I had satisfied myself completely". She said she continued to question him "about once a week". His answers didn’t cause "the slightest alarm in me, I felt more and more reassured". While Tom was being questioned by his seventeen-year-old brother, he made an ambiguous allegation of abuse. According to Bander, Tom told his brother that Ellis had "’smacked my bottom really, really hard. I couldn’t hear the smack but it really hurt’".
At his first evidential interview Tom stated that "he [Ellis] was alright when I did go there. . . and now he’s not".  Tom repeated his claim that he had been smacked by Ellis. It had allegedly occurred when Ellis took him to the toilet after he had soiled himself. Bander, who had attended the Knox Hall meeting, continued to question Tom after his first formal interview. Three months later, after an incident during which Tom allegedly swore at his mother, Bander and her boyfriend arranged with Tom "to sit down and talk about the creche. I believe you’ve got a lot to tell me, and now it’s time to talk". During that discussion, Bander says Tom made more allegations of abuse. He later told her that he had killed a boy. "Tommy said he really was killed and lots of blood came out of him", said Bander. Tom also said he had been buried in coffins and tied up in cages. He spoke of various places outside the creche where he had allegedly been abused. After one of his evidential interviews, Bander says she was advised that Tom "was probably adding in a story to please the interviewer, and to please me". Bander did not accept that was the case. Bander said that she questioned Tom on a weekly basis until the completion of his fifth and final formal interview in August 1992. Police requested prosecution expert witness Karen Zelas review these later interviews to determine the credibility of the information disclosed in them and to advise upon matters which might be further investigated. On 28 August 1992, she wrote that Tom's parents had "subjected him to intensive interrogation pertaining to 'ritual' abuse. Events 475 - The Roman General Orestes forces western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos to flee his Capital Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) . . [which] could make it easy to dismiss [his] statements as having little probative value whether or not they might be accurate". She also said that Tom had been subject to "highly leading questioning" by his parents.  The jury never saw this letter. Ellis was found guilty on three of the four charges pertaining to Tom.
In 1994, after the trial, Bander was instrumental in founding the End Ritual Abuse Society Incorporated . Its rules stated "The purpose of this society is to educate the public on ritual abuse and to provide written, audio and visual information on the subject matter. " A condition of belonging was that an applicant must be "believing of the existence of ritual abuse". Any member who "discredits those who accept the existence of ritual abuse" was liable for expulsion. 
The Ellis case is highly controversial, with many New Zealanders believing he is innocent. A poll of 750 adults conducted in 2002 by the National Business Review revealed that 51% thought Ellis was innocent, 25% thought he was guilty, and 24% were unsure. An opinion poll is a survey of Public opinion from a particular sample. The National Business Review (or NBR) is a weekly New Zealand Newspaper aimed at the business sector 
The case has been linked with the day care sexual abuse hysteria, a moral panic that originated out of California in 1982 and that existed throughout the 1980s. Day care sex abuse hysteria occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s A moral panic can be defined as "the intensity of feeling expressed by a large number of people about a specific group of people who appear to threaten the social order at a given California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. It has also been cited as a major cause in the decline in the number of male teachers in New Zealand schools. Male (♂ refers to the sex of an organism or part of an organism which produces small mobile Gametes called spermatozoa. Education in New Zealand is nominally free for all primary intermediate and secondary schooling 
Research by London et al (2005) has found that, contrary to the testimony of Dr Karen Zelas, sexually abused children typically disclose abuse when asked. They seldom deny or recant abuse allegations. The authors noted that the highest recantation rates were found in studies of allegedly abused children in a day-care setting. “Because of concerns about the actual abuse status of the children in these studies, one might argue that these recantation rates reflect the number of children who attempt to discredit their own previous false allegations by setting the record straight”.
The continued campaign on behalf of Ellis has angered at least two of the complainants and their parents. "I would have been happy to never talk about the abuse ever again. . . . I'm sick of being called a liar. And if I don't say anything, Peter Ellis will keep going around saying he's innocent and more people will believe him," stated 'Tom' in a 2003 newspaper interview.  Tom, the son of Joy Bander, said he stood by the allegations, including being hung in a cage, that he had made as a young child. He said parents had nothing to do with what the children had said and that all his parents had ever said to him was that he should tell the truth. He continued to claim that female staff at the creche had abused him.
Ellis has received widespread support. In 2001 Lynley Hood published a book about the case and the moral panic of sexual abuse within New Zealand at that time. A moral panic can be defined as "the intensity of feeling expressed by a large number of people about a specific group of people who appear to threaten the social order at a given In 2002 A City Possessed won the top prize for non-fiction and for reader's choice in the New Zealand Book Awards. Non-fiction is an account or representation of a subject which is presented as Fact. The Montana New Zealand Book Awards are a series of literary awards to works of New Zealand citizens In June 2003, two petitions called for a royal commission of inquiry into the case. The term Royal Commission may also be used in the United Kingdom to describe the group of Lords Commissioners who may act in the stead of the The first, organised by then National Party leader Dr Don Brash and MP Katherine Rich, had 140 highly prominent signatories and these included retired high court judge Laurence Greig, nine QCs, two previous prime ministers of New Zealand David Lange and Mike Moore, former Auckland police chief Bryan Rowe, nine professors of law, historian Michael King, "Rachel", a complainant who later retracted her allegations that Ellis had abused her, and experts in scientific, legal and social fields. The New Zealand National Party ("National" or "the Nats" currently forms the second-largest (in terms of parliamentary seats Political party Dr Donald Thomas Brash (born 24 September 1940) a former New Zealand politician served as the Leader of the Opposition and parliamentary leader Katherine Rich may refer to Katherine Rich born Katherine Knyvett became Catherine Howard Countess of Suffolk Katherine Rich (MP, New The High Court of New Zealand was established in 1841 and known as the Supreme Court until 1980 Queen's Counsel ( postnominal QC) &ndash known as King's Counsel ( KC) during the reign of a male sovereign  &ndash are The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealand's Head of government consequent on being the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in David Russell Lange, ONZ, CH (who pronounced his name ˈlɒŋi long-ee) (4 August 1942 – 13 August 2005 served as Prime Minister of New Zealand Michael Kenneth Moore ONZ (known as Mike Moore, born 28 January 1949) is a Politician from New Zealand who has served both Chief of Police is the title typically given to the head of a Police department, particularly in North America. Michael King, OBE ( December 15, 1945 &ndash March 30, 2004) was a widely respected New Zealand popular historian In 2006, Don Brash cited the case when supporting calls for an independent body investigating miscarriages of justice in New Zealand. 
In 2003, "Rachel", then 18, publicly supported the call for a commission of inquiry into the case. She testified at depositions that Peter Ellis had abused her. She did not testify at his trial. She believes that her mother was phoned by social workers because her name had been mentioned by other children. Social work is a discipline involving the application of Social theory and research methods to study and improve the lives of people groups and societies When she was formally interviewed she said that Ellis had touched her. When asked where, she replied, "On my head". She said she enjoyed her time at the creche. "I remember loving being there. I remember playing lots of games. Peter was really nice. I got on really well with Peter. . . I could have imagined that if something was wrong, I would have sensed that". She said she felt pressured by investigators. "I had a feeling I was involved in something pretty serious. One of the women told me Peter had done all these really bad things, and I remember saying, 'But he's a really nice guy'". She said she would have remembered if she had been abused. "I knew he didn't do it". She believes he was convicted because he is homosexual and was the only male worker at the creche. 
In August 2005, Parliament's justice and electoral select committee reported on the two petitions relating to the Ellis case. The Parliament of New Zealand consists of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives and until 1951 the New Zealand Legislative Council See also Committee A Select Committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues A petition is a request to change some thing most commonly made to a government official or public entity The committee had several concerns with the way the case was prosecuted. It recommended several changes although it acknowledged that changes had already been made to the way that children were now interviewed. It also suggested that the testimony of expert prosecution witness, Karen Zelas, would not be permitted if it were proffered now. The committee noted that: "The operation of the legal system in respect of this case did not inspire adequate public confidence in the operation of the legal system. A justice system should lead to certainty. The term criminal law, sometimes called penal law, refers to any of various bodies of rules in different Jurisdictions whose common characteristic is the potential In this case it seemed to increase the sense of uncertainty". However, the committee rejected the petitioners' call for a commission of inquiry, concluding that it was not practical to hold such an inquiry. 
On April 4, 2006, it was announced that Ellis plans to appeal to the Privy Council in London. Events 1581 - Francis Drake completes a circumnavigation of the world and is knighted by Elizabeth I. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom, established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom.  Preparation of a petition to the Privy Council was still in progress in early 2008. His lawyers have also requested that the Ministry of Justice establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the case.