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

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news