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Law Commission echoes call for justice reform

Media Statement
For immediate release
Friday, 4 February 2005

Smith: Law Commission echoes UF's call for justice reform

Law Commission comments to a select committee align with United Future's strong criticism of the Government's half-hearted response to the Commission's Delivering Justice for All report, the party's justice spokesman, Murray Smith, said today.

In commenting on the Justice Select Committee's financial review of the Justice Ministry, tabled in Parliament today, Mr Smith said the Law Commission was scathing of the Government's lack of response to the report.

It told the committee that the Government had paid "lip service to the universally acknowledged inadequacies in our current system".

In Parliament this week, Mr Smith was equally critical of the Government's handling of a justice system that is "inaccessible to most New Zealanders, unaffordable for most New Zealanders and (that) delivers unjust results because it is based on a flawed approach".

He said he agreed with the Law Commission view that the justice system needed to do better to win and retain the confidence of New Zealanders - and a starting point would be having a structurally coherent system.

The Government has shown no interest at all in fixing the justice system, Mr Smith said

"In fact, United Future is the only party prepared to really acknowledge, let alone tackle, this problem," he said.

Ends.

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