Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill - Goff

Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill - Phil Goff

Justice Minister Phil Goff today responded to criticism of the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill.

"The cases currently before the courts have highlighted ambiguities in the law governing the procedure in the Court of Appeal where criminal appeals are dealt with "on the papers" (i.e. without oral hearing) once legal aid is declined.

"There is currently some concern that the provisions of the Crimes Act 1961 and the Court of Appeal (Criminal) Rules 1997, which govern the procedure for appeals in the Court of Appeal, are ambiguous about whether the Court may determine appeals "on the papers. These ambiguities need to be addressed urgently to ensure certainty around the procedure for dealing with criminal appeals," Mr Goff said.

"The aim of this Bill is to reform and clarify the case management procedure for criminal appeals. It empowers the Court of Appeal to hear and determine cases through consideration of written submissions alone. The legislation will, however, require the Court to issue reasons for every decision, whether made on the papers or via a hearing.

"The Bill also validates those decisions that have been made by the Court of Appeal under the current legislative framework. It will not, however, have any effect on the cases that are currently before the Privy Council and High Court. This is consistent with constitutional principle.

"The Bill has been assessed for compliance with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The Solicitor-General advises that in his opinion the Bill complies.

"Without the validation provisions there is a risk that hundreds, if not thousands, of earlier Court of Appeal decisions would possibly need to be re-heard. Advice from both the Ministry of Justice and the Solicitor-General is that it is unlikely that the procedures that have been adopted by the Court of Appeal under this framework have resulted in a miscarriage of justice, or have otherwise resulted in prejudice to individual appellants.

"The provision does not affect the rights of an individual appellant to appeal to the Privy Council, or to make an application to the Governor-General for exercise of the Royal prerogative of mercy, to show that there was a substantive error in relation to his or her case.

The legislation confirms the rights of appellants to be represented at criminal appeals before the Court of Appeal, and contains provisions enhancing the current protections available to appellants," concluded Mr Goff.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election