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Report On Crown Liability

Justice Minister Phil Goff has tabled a report by the Ministry of Justice examining the question whether all Acts of Parliament should bind the Crown unless stated otherwise.

"The Report concludes that it would not be desirable to change the current situation where Acts do not bind the Crown unless specifically provided for.

"Instead, it says, there should be a requirement that all Cabinet papers seeking policy approval for proposals that will result in Government Bills must address the issue of whether the legislation is to bind the Crown.

"Cabinet has agreed to this and processes are currently under way to put this recommendation into effect.

"The Ministry's report is consistent with the latest Law Commission study paper on this issue released in December 2001.

"The Report also concludes in relation to Crown immunity from criminal liability that this issue should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Bill, which was introduced in April this year, provides a precedent for Crown criminal liability.

"The effect of that legislation will be that the Crown's exemption from prosecution for offences under the Building Act 1991 and the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 be removed," Mr Goff said.

Ends


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