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Goff Must Get It Right

Goff Must Get It Right

Justice Minister Phil Goff has announced that he will put into the Statute Amendment Bill changes to Home Detention Provision - ACT will support those changes, but only if they are along the correct lines, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"If those changes are appropriate, we will be keen to see them as law. If, however, they come through the Statutes Amendment Bill - which is reserved for minor or technical changes - it may be an indication that Mr Goff is not planning to look at the wrong principles, which are the problem," Mr Franks said.

"In that case, we would reserve our position. There are many other things in the Sentencing Act, which the Government has described as unintended, or loopholes. We would want to be sure that these were dealt with, and that parliamentary time be given to them as a high priority.

"We suspect, however, that the Minister wants to use the Bill to avoid scrutiny of all those other implications, as well as other matters where his new law has been found wanting - such as on the Home Detention front.

"Home Detention should be something that a judge can order but, instead - along with many other sentencing discretions - it has been reserved for the Parole Board. It is wrong in principle that courts don't set the sentences and Mr Goff's changes will need to fix that," Mr Franks said.

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