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UF calls for night courts to clear justice system

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 13 July 2005

UF calls for night courts to clear justice system backlog

United Future would establish night court sittings to clear minor non-jury cases that are clogging New Zealand's justice system, Marc Alexander, said today in previewing the party's law and order policy.

"The old dictum that justice delayed is justice denied applies in New Zealand all too often, and night court sessions are a practical way of fixing that," Mr Alexander said. He will launch the full policy at a Sensible Sentencing trust event in Panmure, Auckland, on Sunday

"To force victims to wait endlessly for their day in court - sometimes for as long as 10 years - is, quite literally, no justice at all," he said. "Today there are something like 30,000 cases that have still not seen the inside of a court room - and some of these are fairly low level offences that are typically easy to deal with."

Mr Alexander said other countries had successfully used night courts to clear similar justice backlogs.

He said United Future would also ensure that offenders were brought before a court within 24 hours of being charged. "The present run-around makes a mockery of our system. Offenders aren't held accountable in a speedy fashion and victims simply cannot get on with their lives. "And before the gaggle of human rights advocates start complaining about burglars fronting up to a judge at 3am being deprived of their beauty sleep, let's remember that it's in the night that most of the crimes are committed - and the crims don't care about the victims' right to sleep undisturbed, do they?"

ENDS

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