Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Justice reforms must do more than tick boxes for victims

The justice system must move beyond a “tick-box” culture and begin offering genuine justice for victims, according to research released by Victim Support today.

The key message from Victim Support’s research Victims’ Voices: The Justice Needs and Experiences of New Zealand Serious Crime Victims was that victims needed to feel they genuinely mattered, said Researcher Dr Petrina Hargrave.

In-depth interviews with serious crime victims revealed that only 32% felt justice had been served and 41% had faith in the justice system. This was despite 86% of research participants’ cases resulting in a guilty verdict for the offender, and 52% resulting in imprisonment.

“We can’t assume justice has been served just because an offender has been found guilty or a hefty sentence has been handed down,” said Dr Hargrave.

“Justice for victims is just as much about how an outcome is reached as it is about the outcome itself.”

Dr Hargrave said victims commonly felt their opportunity to participate in court was tokenism, and that they lacked genuine opportunities to tell their stories, to be heard, and to have the impact of the crime acknowledged.

Victims were often unable to express the true impact of the crime in their victim impact statements because of restrictive court processes.

“If victims lack trust and confidence in the justice system, they are less likely to report crime, so victims’ experience of the justice system is absolutely critical for crime prevention.”

Dr Hargrave said victims described justice as a set of values including fairness, accountability and righting the wrong.

“Whatever reforms are made to our justice system, we have to get the basics right first. The starting point has to be a commitment to understanding victims’ needs and what justice means to them.”

Dr Hargrave said that while most victims were highly satisfied with the support from individuals and support agencies, there was an urgent need for support to be found within the justice system as a whole.

“We’d like to challenge all players in the justice system to do more than tick boxes for victims.

“With improved education about what matters to victims, we can promote empathy and a genuineness currently lacking in the system that will improve victims’ trust, confidence, and wellbeing.

“The bare minimum requirement of a justice system must be that the public has faith in it to protect them and to deliver justice.”

Victim Support’s research builds on growing evidence that victims need to be at the heart of justice reforms, including:

• Chief Victims’ Advisor Dr Kim McGregor’s research, Strengthening the Criminal Justice System for Victims (https://chiefvictimsadvisor.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/8dhfd3-Criminal-Justice-Victims-Survey-report.pdf)

• The preliminary findings of the Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group’s report, He Waka Roimata (https://safeandeffectivejustice.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/fa55462d44/teuepureport_hewakaroimata.pdf).

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Climate Strike: At UN, Youth Activists Press For Bold Action

Students and young activists on Saturday threw down the gauntlet to world leaders heading to United Nations Headquarters next week for high-level climate talks, demanding that they “stop wasting time” and work harder to curb carbon emissions...

This first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit follows Friday’s global ‘climate strike’, which saw millions of young people from across the globe walk out of school and jam streets in major cities, from New York to New Delhi and Santiago to San Francisco. More>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels