Parliament

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

 

Oral depositions place added stress on victims

Hon Rick Barker
Minister for Courts

2 June 2008
Media Statement
Oral depositions place added stress on victims of crime

Courts Minister Rick Barker today said that the government is aware of growing public concern over oral preliminary hearings, and the impact having to give evidence twice can have on the victims of crime.

The Criminal Procedure Bill, currently before the House, seeks to address these concerns by allowing depositions to occur based on written evidence unless a judge deems that it is necessary to hear the depositions orally.

"Recent media reports and public outcry have highlighted just how stressful the oral depositions process can be for the victims of crime. This government is committed to making sure that the victims of crime are not needlessly re-victimised by the system," Mr Barker said.

"By shifting the default position and allowing depositions to be based on written evidence, we can significantly reduce the pressures on victims who have to give evidence, free up court time, and make better use of police and judicial resources.

"Under the current system victims appear twice to give evidence, once during the oral preliminary hearing and then again during the trial. It is clear victims want their day in court, but it is important that we do not drag them through a painful and sometimes traumatic process twice, unless it is absolutely essential.

"Provisions in the Bill will tighten and improve the rules around the pre-trial disclosure of evidence by enshrining in law the concept of full disclosure. This will ensure that a defendant has full opportunity to consider the case against them prior to their trial.

The Criminal Procedure Bill is based on recommendations by the Law Commission and seeks to maximise the efficiency and fairness of the criminal justice system.

"In any year thousands of hours of court time are given over to oral depositions. The potential for huge savings in sitting time by not always conducting oral hearings is obvious. It will make life easier for the police officers and expert witnesses who are required to turn up at court and give evidence, free up judges, and ease scheduling pressures.

"I am sure that most defendants would like to have their cases heard earlier and the changes to oral depositions would speed up the process for them as well," Mr Barker said.

In addition the Criminal Procedure Bill seeks to address public concerns over the current double jeopardy laws and addresses a range of systematic issues relating to criminal procedure. Currently the Bill is in the Committee of the Whole House stage and the government is working to gather support for the sections relating to oral depositions.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election