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A new voice for victims

4 May 2006

A new voice for victims

The Green Party's victim's rights inquiry, negotiated with the Government last year, was initiated by the Justice and Electoral Committee today.

"The recent Louise Nicholas case raised significant public disquiet about the way alleged rape complainants are treated in court. This is the best opportunity that people will have to raise those issues with Parliament," Greens' Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

"Many of those concerns relate to the laws of evidence. The fact that the committee is currently considering the new Evidence Bill is a coincidence that the public should take advantage of.

"The Greens have always said that victims should be at the centre of the judicial process, and that courts must make sure that complainants are not marginalised. This inquiry is a way for Parliament to get a real feel for what happens in the criminal justice system and to make specific recommendations to address concerns.

"Having negotiated this inquiry during the passage of the Prisoners and Victims Compensation Claims Bill, we expect that the Government will take seriously any recommendations from it.

"This is a major victory for victims. This inquiry will not be about removing rights to a fair trial - the Government is already doing more than enough in that regard. This is about healing the trauma that victims of crime suffer," Nandor says.

ENDS


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