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


Courts Can Already Squelch Harassing Rapists

Courts Can Already Squelch Harassing Rapists

The Courts have powers they haven't been using to deter rapists from abusing the right of cross-examination in a trial, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"The call to stop accused rapists who defend themselves from cross-examining the alleged victim is understandable. But it need not be an issue and therefore ACT cannot join National's call for a law change.

"A Court could send a very blunt message to all rape defendants by adding extra years to the sentence of any convicted rapist who has unnecessarily added insult to injury during a trial. The judge can tell the convicted rapist he is getting extra time because his behaviour in Court made it clear he wasn't remorseful.

"ACT is very wary about restricting the openness of our justice system in any respect, and in particular by infringing upon the ancient right of an accused person to test the evidence of those accusing them. False complaints of rape are a known risk. We discredit all law when we add to the risk that the innocent can't challenge false evidence.

"Judges can use the powers they have to better control proceedings in their Courts and ensure that they are directed solely to testing truth or innocence. By making convicted rapists who abuse their rights pay a heavy price, we would not need to consider the potentially dangerous experiment of restricting the rights of all accused", Mr Franks said.

© 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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election