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


PC Rape Trials Bad for Victims

PC Rape Trials Bad for Victims

Moves to muzzle rape accused conducting their own defence could harm genuine rape victims ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"If people suspect that rape trials don't treat those accused with the same fairness as other trials, and people facing false complaints have eroded rights to face their accusers, there could be less sympathy and concern for the real victims.

"The principle that an accused can challenge the accusations he faces is an ancient and fundamental right. All the alternatives should be explored before deciding to limit this right. Courts have powers to control abuses of process.

"The Government proposal essentially puts a filter between the accused and his accusers.

"I would have expected a body with a name like the Human Rights Commission to carefully weigh up the pros and cons, offer alternatives and urge caution, because once you begin to erode rights then others will come forward with politically persuasive reasons to do the same elsewhere. We can see this happening in Hon Lianne Dalziel's indication that this proposal would not cover just rape, but also extend to any domestic violence accusation.

"I agree with Donald Stevens QC who warned this morning that innocent people accused of rape are enduring terrifying court trials because of systemic failures in the justice system. There will always be innocent defendants who want to defend themselves for cost reasons as well as a touching faith that the system could not convict them because they are innocent.

"Mr Stevens went on to say that "We must not shirk from asking ourselves how much the agitation of radical feminists and rape crisis organisations has contributed towards various of these systematic failings".

"I wish the Human Rights Commission would live up to its name and call for proper inquiry to find ways of dealing with the abusive defendant which are more consistent with both principle and our rule of law tradition," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Principals' Federation:
End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended.

"This is such a win for all the principals who never believed in national standards and who, for the past decade, have argued for what is morally right for our nation's young people and their learning," said Cormick. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>


RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>


'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>





Featured InfoPages