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Fixing Abuse Of Process Is In The Court's Hands

Fixing Abuse Of Process Is In The Court's Hands

ACT agrees with the judge in the Burrett kidnapping trial - that there should be a way to discourage abuses of court process by defendants like Burrett. The solution is plain, not complex, and is in the hands of the judges now," ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"It just needs the Court of Appeal to announce that it won't interfere when lower judges add to the punishment of Burrett types," Mr Franks said.

"Criminals who drag out trials with fanciful stories - who add to the ordeal of victims with abusive questioning, and who make unnecessary misery for witnesses - should be told that, if found guilty, they will pay for that indulgence.

"We uphold the legal right of offenders to defend themselves. But if they use legal tolerance that would not be extended to a defence lawyer to waste the Court's time, or taxpayer money, they should face a substantial cost.

"All cases of unmeritorious appeal, intimidation and threatening of witnesses, and needless wasting of the Court's time can be dealt with in the same simple way. Reflecting such abuse in sentencing will provide both punishment and deterrent," Mr Franks said.

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