David Bain has filed a claim today at the High Court in Auckland against the Minister of Justice over the way she handled his compensation case.
Bain supporter Joe Karam said Bain is seeking a judicial review of the actions taken by Judith Collins since she received a report in late August 2012 by former Canadian judge Ian Binnie into whether Bain should get compensation for spending more than a decade in jail, including the "secret process" which culminated in the peer review by New Zealand lawyer Robert Fisher.
"The claim includes allegations that the Minister has breached Bain's rights to natural justice, breached his rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, acted in bad faith, abused her power, and acted in a biased, unreasonable and predetermined manner," Karam said.
Earlier this month Prime Minister John Key said a second peer review into Bain's application for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment will "most probably" happen.
The cabinet has been updated on possible options for settling Bain's claim but a final recommendation is not expected until the Cabinet meets in February.
"In the circumstances, a request has been made to the Crown that any further action in relation to David's claim be deferred pending the outcome of this judicial review," Karam said.
Karam said Bain was "anguished over the prospect of returning to court, and only did so with great reluctance".
"The application is necessary because the Minister has continued her policy of refusing to constructively communicate with his advisers, and because he no longer has any confidence that his claim is being assessed in a fair manner."
Collins said in a statement that Bain's application "falls outside Cabinet guidelines and is entirely at Cabinet's discretion".
"I have taken steps to ensure the process is fair and proper throughout. Put simply, it would be unacceptable for Cabinet to base its decision for compensation on an unsafe and flawed report. That would not have resulted in justice for anyone, let alone Mr Bain."
She said she is considering his request, but putting his compensation application on hold would result in further delay.
Collins said she would not be commenting further as it was now before the courts.
Bain was convicted in 1995 of murdering five members of his family in Dunedin. In 2007, the Privy Council quashed his convictions on the grounds of a substantial miscarriage of justice and ordered a retrial.
A jury acquitted him in June 2009 after almost 13 years in prison.