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


Decision confirms intent of minimum non-parole

Hayden Brown decision confirms intent of minimum non-parole periods

Justice Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the Court of Appeal decision on the sentencing of Hayden Brown for attempted murder, which he says makes absolutely clear that the new Sentencing Act imposes a tougher regime for serious offenders.

“The Court’s decision clearly confirms that minimum periods before parole eligibility are intended to be imposed in most cases of serious offending.

“The Court states that a non-parole period should be imposed, when an offence is ‘sufficiently serious’. Non-parole periods should be imposed when ‘release after one third of the sentence has been served would represent insufficient denunciation, punishment and deterrence in all the circumstances’. The central consideration of this test is the culpability of the offender which will be increased when the crime is committed with unusual callousness, extreme violence, where there are vulnerable or multiple victims or serious actual or intended consequences.

“The Court decision of five of our most senior judges makes it clear that a minimum non-parole period can be applied ‘even if there is no danger to the community’. It states that a minimum period should be imposed ‘if an offence is so serious that release after one third of the sentence would plainly constitute an insufficient response in the eyes of the community, even though there may be no on-going safety risk’.

“What this decision means is that for serious offending, the law is now tougher in three key respects.

Under sentencing guidelines, the maximum sentence must be imposed for the most serious offences, and close to the maximum for offending which is near to the most serious. Sentences for these offences will be longer than in the past.

Minimum periods before parole will generally be set for cases of serious offending attracting longer prison terms, which includes offences not previously defined as serious violent offending including kidnapping and drug trafficking.

With the abolition of automatic release at two thirds of sentences, and the new Parole Act making public safety the paramount consideration, offenders may now be kept in prison until the last day of their sentence if they constitute any undue public risk.

“The Court decision makes it clear that the new sentencing regime is much tougher than previous law, and confirms that no changes to the Sentencing Act are required to achieve this result,” Mr Goff said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages