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Deliberate Government Policy Helps Paedophile

Deliberate Government Policy Helps Paedophile

Convicted paedophile Euan Trafford Hovell is immune from the judge who relied on his promise to pay compensation to his victims because of a deliberate Government choice to ensure judges could not make restorative justice agreements enforceable, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"That criminals would make restorative promises to get soft sentences and then renege was precisely what ACT predicted in Select Committee when the Sentencing Act was going through.

"I tried to have the Act amended to give judges the power to make restorative justice arrangements enforceable orders of the court, whether or not they were conditions of a sentence. My main concern was that restorative justice would be discredited if offenders could renege after judges had blessed their promises and sentenced in anticipation of performance.

"Mr Goff's officials argued strongly against my concerns, and the Labour majority voted my proposal down with the support of the Greens.

"I believe the officials were simply doing what they were told, because the change would have undermined the agenda of the Sentencing Act to take effective sentencing away from the judges and the court, and put it into the hands of the Parole Board. That agenda means the legislation strictly limits the kinds of orders judges can make - for example, they are expressly prohibited from ordering an offender to do any work to help a victim.

"Hovell has taken advantage of exactly the risk ACT tried to protect against," Mr Franks said.

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