Government Lets Victims Rights Bill Languish
Tuesday 11 Jun 2002
ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks says we now why the Police, Courts and Justice Ministers did not bother to get any budget allocation upholding the rights of victims. "They never expected or intended to do anything or change anything in this Parliament," he said.
"The House will rise with the Victims' Rights Bill still sitting at number 31 on the Order Paper. It has languished down the priority list since being reported back from the Justice and Electoral Select Committee nearly a year ago (on 23 august 2001). The Bill began life in 1999 under National yet the new Government still let it wait.
"To pass the Bill needed at most only nine hours of Parliamentary time - two debates of two hours each, and a committee stage in the House. But despite the 92% Withers' referendum requiring `great emphasis on the needs of victims' this important Bill has been lying behind Bills such as the Racing Bill (at 28), the Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Bill (18), the Hop Industry Restructuring Bill (16), the Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement Bill (15), the Maori Television Service Bill (11), Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill (8), and the Maori Purposes Bill (No 2) 2000 (at 7).
"Voters should judge politicians on their actions not their words. If Labour claims falsely to care about the victims of crime its record should speak for itself," Stephen Franks said.