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

 


Victims should be at centre of domestic violence measures

Victims should be at centre of domestic violence measures

Serious measures to stem our appalling record of domestic violence are overdue but creating another Ministry of Justice adviser and abolishing fair trial rights for alleged offenders will make little difference, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

The Government today announced a number of measures to address domestic violence including creating a chief victims adviser and allowing courts to draw a negative conclusion if an alleged offender doesn't personally give evidence in a trial.

"The people who most need advice are the victims themselves, not the Minister who has access to an army of public servants to advise her every day.

"It is the victim who needs help navigating a police investigation and a criminal justice system that often overlooks that they are even there.

"Victims need a court-based advocate so they know what is going on, what they can do, how they can have a say and what their rights are as a witness in any trial.

"As for trials of sexual offences, the reason why many victims either don't lay a complaint or don't go through with one is fear of the court process and the likelihood of humiliation and re-victimisation.

"Allowing an adverse inference to be drawn if an alleged offender doesn't give evidence is an open invitation for defence counsel to be even more aggressive in their cross-examination.

"A better measure would be to hand control of all examination of a victim to the judge with lawyers for both sides notifying the court which issues they want dealt with, along with shifting the burden of proof on the issue of consent to the defence.

"This approach does not contradict the fundamental principle that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty - the basic facts of the case still have to be made out - but it does mean the prosecution doesn't need to prove a negative, namely that there was no consent.

"Judith Collins’ approach is as good as the defendant being regarded as guilty until proven innocent, something she says she is opposed to,” Andrew Little said.

Labour's policy on dealing with domestic violence will be announced on Friday.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#Kexit: Prime Minister John Key Announces Resignation

Prime Minister John Key has announced that he’s resigning as Prime Minister in seven days’ time. He made the unexpected announcement at a 12.45 press conference at Parliament, called with less than an hour’s notice.

“It has been an enormous privilege to be Prime Minister of New Zealand, and these last eight years have been an incredible experience. Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love...“ More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

 

Q+A: Labour's Michael Wood Wins Mt Roskill

Labour’s Michael Wood, who last night won a 6,000 vote majority in the Mt Roskill by-election, says the reason for the win was simple, clear messaging... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Anne Tolley’s Callous Folly

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

ALSO:

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news