Parliament

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

 

Victims' Rights Bill Full of Wrongs

Victims' Rights Bill Full of Wrongs

Thursday, August 23 2001
Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Justice, Law & Order

The Victims' Rights Bill reported back by the Justice & Electoral Select Committee today should have a new name, says ACT's Justice spokesman Stephen Franks, a member of the committee. "It should be called the 'Victims' Brush-Off Bill', or the 'Stay Out of this, We Know Best Bill'.

"Law students learn an elementary rule ' rights without remedies are not rights.

"The Bill expressly excludes any victims' right to damages if the so called 'rights' under the Bill are trampled. They are steered instead toward the Police Complaints Authority, the Privacy Commissioner, or the Ombudsmen. Ombudsmen can't order anything. They can only recommend.

"Under the Bill, victims still have no right to be heard in court. Victims have no right to comment on the sentence the criminal should get. Victims don't even have a right to make their own statement.

"What victims get, if the Judge agrees, is a right to read out a statement prepared by the Police. They cannot add to it. All victims can do is complain about their loss.

"Victims have no right to get the Court to order restitution or compensation. Victims have no right to cross-examine or to challenge claims made by the criminal or his lawyer.

"Victims have no right to be warned when a threatening breach of parole is discovered. Some victims are to of a breach ' but too late to be of any use. They are to hear about it only after the start of a prosecution for a breach.

"There is no right for a victim to know where the criminal is being released to, or what name or identity the criminal may be given. So the victims can send an argument to the Parole Board against release, or seeking conditions, but have no right to be told what they may really want to know ' that is, how to deal with risks when the parole nevertheless goes ahead.

"Family of the victims of Stephen Anderson who want to know about his time out from Porirua psychiatric hospital to celebrate his mother's birthday and who might have thought this bill would help will gain no comfort it. The things it lacks show that the self-anointed are still in charge of criminal justice. They are only making a pretence of taking victims seriously," Stephen Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election