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Prosecution services review released

Hon Christopher Finlayson
20 October 2011 Media Statement

Prosecution services review released

A report on released today shows that public prosecution services are generally effective and efficient, but there are opportunities for improvements, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson said today.

The review, by John Spencer, was initiated in March 2011 to determine whether prosecutions brought by public sector agencies could be delivered in a more cost-effective and sustainable manner at the same or higher quality levels.
“It is pleasing to note that the Crown Solicitor network, which is one of the oldest public-private partnership in New Zealand, is providing an outstanding prosecution service,” Mr Finlayson said. “He concluded that New Zealand has a high quality, independent criminal prosecution service that does not need radical change.”

The report recommends looking at mechanisms for active management of Crown Solicitors’ funding and greater oversight of public prosecutions by the Solicitor-General.

The report also found that in the prosecution of summary offences, the Police Prosecution Service was performing well, as were departments with considerable experience in prosecutions such as the Department of Labour, Customs, the Department of Conservation, Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development.

“I welcome the observations Mr Spencer has made regarding the opportunities to improve the public prosecution services, “Mr Finlayson said. “I will be carefully and seriously consider all of his recommendations.”

The report will be considered alongside a concurrent review of the Roles and Functions of the Solicitor-General and Crown Law, which is due to be reported back in February 2012.
The report is available on the Ministry of Justice website here


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