Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Smith: Crèche case shows justice system flaws

Media Statement
For immediate release
Monday, 8 August 2005


Smith: Civic Crèche case shows justice system flaws

The Christchurch Civic Crèche case raises major issues about our adversarial criminal justice system, United Future justice spokesman Murray Smith said today in calling for major changes.

"While there were also serious concerns about the way children's evidence was collected and assessed in that case, the essential problem is that our justice system is not centred on the need to find the truth," Mr Smith said as the select committee report into the case was tabled in Parliament today.

"Every lawyer and judge in the country will tell you that adversarial justice systems, such as the one New Zealand uses, are largely detailed semantic arguments over the precise wording of statutes and whether the police can prove each ingredient of an offence without the defendant contributing.

"Finding the truth is a hopeful by-product of the system but not its central focus. Accordingly, outcomes such as in the Ellis case, which give rise to public doubt, will always occur in an adversarial system," Mr Smith said

That is why the Justice and Electoral Committee has sought an inquiry as to whether the system should change from adversarial one to an inquisitorial one, at least for child sex offences, Mr Smith said,

"It is also why United Future's justice policy seeks a major overhaul of the court system to bring in inquisitorial element for all cases."

Mr Smith said the nub on the committee's response was in a paragraph he had inserted:

"The Ellis case revolved primarily around findings of fact based on the credibility of the children's evidence. However the committee accepts that it is both impossible and undesirable to rehear the evidence in the Ellis case due to lapse of time. The committee therefore considers that the best that can now be achieved is to look to the future in respect of these matters."

The Evidence Bill, in particular, would allow issues relating to the giving of evidence by children to be examined closely, he said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news