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


Disturbing number of court cases on hold

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

15 November 2007

Disturbing number of court cases on hold

The justice system is coming under increasing pressure as new figures show a disturbing number of cases on hold because defendants have absconded while on bail or have simply failed to appear, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing information which shows that at September 30 there were 18,682 cases in the country’s 63 district courts that were on hold due to outstanding warrants against all of the defendants’.

The cases involve criminal summary, Youth Court, and deposition cases, as well as jury trials. The highest figures are in Auckland (3,795 cases on hold), Manukau (3,157), Waitakere (1,234), Hamilton (1,057), Christchurch (912), North Shore (845), Wellington (725), Tauranga (633), Rotorua (542), Lower Hutt (495), Whangarei (466), Papakura (376), Gisborne (307), Hastings (306), Napier (285), and Kaikohe (281).

“And that’s just the number of cases that are on hold.

“These figures are a further sign that the justice sector is appallingly managed. As well as the number of cases on hold, there is also an alarming log-jam of cases in both the High Court and in district courts.

“At March there were 241 criminal jury trials outstanding in the High Court and 1,437 in district courts, while the median trial waiting time in the High Court was 290 days and in district courts 256 days. And there have been 20 stays of prosecution in the past three years.

“And there could be worse to come. Since Labour became Government there has already been a 151% increase in the number of defendants failing to report for bail, and their loose new bail laws are making it even easier for more offenders than ever to get bail.

“Labour’s failure to get on top of the problem puts all sorts of unnecessary pressure on the justice system.

“It wastes the time of the courts and of the police, and it leaves victims of crime up in the air as they wait for justice – and all that gets in the way of ensuring justice is done in a timely manner.

“Rick Barker should tell us how he is going to fix this.”

View the answer to parliamentary questions as a pdf.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news