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Criminal Justice Advisory Board members announced

Justice Minister Annette King has announced appointments to a new Criminal Justice Advisory Board that will advise justice sector ministers on further improvements to the criminal justice system.

The board will be chaired by former Secretary for Justice David Oughton. The other members of the board will be Margaret Eames, Nigel Hampton QC, Judge Margaret Lee, Major Campbell Roberts, Valery Sim and Lynette Stewart (brief biographical details attached).

Ms King says the board is being established in response to a report by Ombudsman Mel Smith, Investigation into issues involving the administration of criminal justice, which he presented to Prime Minister Helen Clark on 30 November 2007.

In his report Mr Smith called for the restoration of public and political confidence in the criminal justice sector, and a more rational and informed public debate about the criminal justice system.

"Establishing a Criminal Justice Advisory Board is the most effective response to the Ombudsman's underlying concerns", Ms King said.

The Board will:
* Help develop greater public consensus on what issues are important in terms of bolstering confidence in the criminal justice system;

* give justice sector ministers high level informal advice about issues facing the criminal justice system;

* bring a range of perspectives on further improvements to the criminal justice system;

* provide a sounding board for justice sector ministers to have an ongoing discussion about criminal justice priorities; and

* help facilitate constructive community dialogue about criminal justice issues and solutions.

"The appointees are all highly respected people who reflect the diversity of the community, and who will bring a range of skills and perspectives to the board.

I look forward to working with the board and the fresh approach it will bring to criminal justice issues."

--

Background information on appointees

David Oughton (Chair): Mr Oughton has been a member of the Remuneration Authority since August 2003 and Chairperson since March 2005. He retired from the position of Secretary for Justice in 1994 after more than 41 years in the Public Service.

Margaret Eames: Ms Eames is National Co-ordinator Victims Support Group, and Treasurer, Nelson/Tasman Victims Support Group and the Nelson Restorative Justice Trust.

Nigel Hampton QC: Mr Hampton was a partner in a Christchurch law firm for 22 years before going into sole practice as a barrister in 1988.

Judge Margaret Lee: Judge Lee has had a distinguished career on the District Court Bench and was also a Law Commissioner for two terms.

Major Campbell Roberts: Major Roberts is the founder and Director of the Salvation Army's Social Policy Research and Parliamentary Affairs Unit, and Director of the Salvation Army's $100m social services in New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.

Val Sim: Ms Sim was appointed as a Law Commissioner in 2007. Her legal background spans 28 years and includes twelve years as a manager and a brief period as a sole barrister and solicitor.

Lynette Stewart: Ms Stewart is the Chief Executive Officer of Te Tai Tokerau MAPO Trust and has been the CEO since the MAPO's inception in 1996.


ENDS

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