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Goff Releases Justice Briefing Paper

6 September 2002

Goff Releases Justice Briefing Paper

The Ministry of Justice will take sole leadership of the youth offending sector, replacing the previously shared responsibility with the Ministry of Social Development, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

The Minister made the announcement with the release of the Ministry of Justice Briefing to Incoming Ministers. (posted at www.justice.govt.nz).

“Cabinet has decided that care and protection issues and justice issues for children and young people need to have separate leadership as outlined in the Ministry briefing.

“Giving the Ministry of Justice sole leadership in the area of youth justice will improve clarity over lines of accountability, responsibility for leadership and effective project implementation.

“Justice will now be the sole lead agency responsible for the implementation of the Youth Offending Strategy and for other youth justice policy. The Ministry will also be working closely with the Ministry of Social Development, Child, Youth and Family and the Police in that work.

“The briefing outlines the programme to continue combating crime in the next term. For example legislation to increase the use of DNA profiling and cracking down on the sale of stolen goods will help the fight against burglary.

“The plight of victims will be a major focus with the passing of the Victims’ Rights Bill. There will be the release later this year of the National Survey of Crime Victims which will give a clearer picture of the impact of crime on ordinary New Zealanders. This information will assist in developing policies and laws that are effective.

“The briefing states a general violence strategy will be completed this year, recognising the significant impact violent offences have on victims and the general public.

“Areas of reform outlined in the briefing include the Coroners Court, moves towards the establishment of a Supreme Court and revamping legal aid. These issues will be dealt with in the current parliamentary term.

“The briefing stresses the need for laws to keep pace with developing technology and legislation will be considered in areas such as censorship, biotechnology and criminal offences.

“This briefing paper outlines a robust and vigorous programme aimed at achieving the Ministry’s stated goals of reducing crime and increasing the respect for rights and the rule of law,” Mr Goff said.

Ends

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