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Criminal Procedure Bill

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice Spokesman

6 June 2008

Criminal Procedure Bill

National will support the Criminal Procedure Bill through all remaining stages after the Government agreed to address a number of concerns that National had over the legislation.

Justice spokesman Simon Power says progress was made after the Government accepted an invitation from him to discuss a way forward on the bill.

"National has already voted for the bill at its first and second readings as well as part one and part two in the committee stages, which included the introduction of limited exceptions to the double jeopardy rule.

"Our support for the bill in its entirety, including changes to depositions proceedings, comes after National secured agreement on two important points in the bill.

"The first is to include a clause confirming there will be a full review by the Solicitor General of how changes to depositions proceedings are working after two years.

"In the second instance, National has secured the Government's agreement to include a new clause allowing parties to present oral submissions where an application for an oral evidence order is sought. This step is in line with the Law Commission's report of 2000.

"We consider these changes vitally important, and necessary, to ensure there are no unintended consequences of the legislation.

"National still has concerns that the latter stages of trials could be compromised if the early stages of the court process are not rigorously examined. That is why securing a review provision was necessary.

"While this bill is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction."

ENDS

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